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North Van man fined after not filing taxes for a decade

Judge says court takes dim view of those who don't pay 'fair share' of taxes
NV court pic
A North Vancouver man has been fined by a judge after pleading guilty to not filing taxes for a decade. photo North Shore News files

A North Vancouver man has been fined $4,000 after pleading guilty to not filing income tax returns for 10 years.

Edward Adolphus Sylvan, 52, was handed the fine in North Vancouver provincial court after pleading guilty to four charges of failing to comply with the federal Income Tax Act.

According to prosecutor Joanne Kuroyama, Sylvan didn’t file any tax returns between 2009 and 2018. In January 2018, he was personally served with a notice to file the missing returns within 90 days. But Kuroyama said Sylvan didn’t do that and also didn’t file a return for 2019.

Speaking in Sylvan’s defence, lawyer Paula Cooper said the North Vancouver man owns and runs a film and TV marketing company, and while he is a Canadian citizen, his business is based primarily out of the U.S. “which is one of the reasons there’s been some difficulty gathering all the information.”

Sylvan is now working with both Canadian and U.S. accountants to get his tax files organized, said the lawyer.

Judge Bryce Dyer handed Sylvan a $1,000 fine for each of the tax charges – the minimum required under the act.

But he also made it clear he wasn’t impressed with Sylvan’s actions.

“The tax system in this country is essentially one that is an honour system,” he said, based on the principle that everyone should contribute a “fair share.”

“The court takes an exceedingly dim view of those who don’t play by the rules...” he said. “This conduct is not to continue.”

Sylvan was ordered to complete the missing tax returns and pay the fine within a year.