Chilliwack woman convicted of tax evasion and counselling others

Debbie Anderson the latest from Paradigm Education Group to be convicted

The courts have again convicted yet another proponent of a debunked tax evasion scheme taught by a Chilliwack-based group.

Debbie Arlene Anderson was a senior “educator” in Paradigm Education Group, which taught paying students that income tax is a violation of human rights, and is optional for individuals who declare themselves “natural persons.”

READ MORE: Trial ends for woman involved in tax evasion scheme

In BC Supreme Court in Chilliwack on Nov. 3, Judge Neill Brown convicted Anderson of all four charges she faced: tax evasion and making false statements under the Income Tax Act (ITA), failure to make GST payments under the Excise Tax Act (ETA), and counselling others to commit fraud under the criminal code.

Brown said Anderson’s argument to defend her teachings “has no basis in law, is meritless, and must be dismissed.”

The “natural person” theory posits that income tax only applies to the artificial or legal person created in law. If one declares oneself to be a natural person, and enters into specially designed contracts to be paid for services, income tax can be ignored.

The problem routinely outlined by the courts is that this is, simply, wrong.

Anderson’s mentor was Russell Porisky, the founder of Paradigm Education Group (PEG) who was sentenced on July 29, 2016 to four years in jail and fined $260,000. His partner Elaine Gould was sentenced to one day in jail and was fined $38,242. The duo’s fraudulent counselling to more than 800 students resulted in an estimated $11 million in income tax evasion.

Anderson had as many as 100 students, the court heard, who typically paid seven per cent of money earned as a fee for the educational materials that outlined how to arrange financial affairs so as to not pay taxes. She, herself, earned at least $165,000 over 2005, 2006 and 2007, and declared zero income for the first two years and did not file an income tax return for 2007.

In YouTube videos posted in 2008, and that are still online, Porisky says the reality is that “income tax is nothing more than an internal federal excise tax which is only mandatory for those who choose to work as a legal representative, under an implied contract of service, for the benefit of a federally created legal (artificial) person known as a ‘taxpayer.’”

The argument behind Porisky’s scheme has been repeatedly rejected by the courts, which have said his teachings are nothing more than counselling illegal tax evasion.

Another Porisky follower, Michael Spencer Millar, who also represented himself, was sentenced Feb. 28 to two-and-a-half years in jail for following the debunked theory.

READ MORE: Follower of Chilliwack-based tax protest scheme off to jail

For her part, Anderson took Porisky’s scheme to another level using a “shuffled card” version that Brown said still was “clothed in the natural person concept.”

In speaking to the charges in her own defence, Anderson argued that income tax only applies to what she repeatedly called “office holders.”

“Income tax is a tax on the privilege of being a holder of an office in the federal jurisdiction only,” Anderson said, reading from 84 pages of closing submissions in July.

Brown pointed out this is wrong and is not the correct definition of office holder from the Income Tax Act. Rather, the judge explained, income tax has to be paid by “every person or resident in Canada at any time of the year.”

In convicting Anderson of the one criminal charge, Brown found that it was bad advice telling students there was a nominal risk of being charged with tax evasion using the “grossly incorrect theory of which she was aware.”

“That’s a very seriously misleading statement,” he said.

As soon as Brown finished reading his decision, Anderson said she planned to appeal the conviction. It was explained to her that she first needed to be sentence, or an adjournment applied for after a sentencing hearing.

Anderson is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 22.


@PeeJayAitch
paul.henderson@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Six Sto:lo chiefs sign MOU agreement affirming Indigenous rights

Moving to next phase of nation-to-nation negotiation in preparation for final treaty

Chilliwack Chiefs sit atop BCHL standings

No one expected the young Chiefs to be this good this fast, but can it last?

‘Police are ready’ for legal pot, say Canadian chiefs

But Canadians won’t see major policing changes as pot becomes legal

On Oct. 19, gospel musician, Rob Berg, hosts first concert in Chilliwack in 25 years

Held at the Sardis Community Church, the concert celebrates his career and new album release

Outgoing Chilliwack board chair says anti-SOGI trustees won’t be allowed in schools

Candidates’ anti-LGBTQ rhetoric makes for awkward situations with students, teachers, administrators

Naked man jumping into Toronto shark tank a ‘premeditated’ stunt: official

The man swam in a tank at Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada

Trump: Saudi king ‘firmly denies’ any role in Khashoggi mystery

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is travelling to the Middle East to learn more about the fate of the Saudi national

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen dies at 65

Allen died in Seattle from complications of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Transport Canada to take new look at rules, research on school bus seatbelts

Canada doesn’t currently require seatbelts on school buses

Sockeye run in Shuswap expected to be close to 2014 numbers

Salute to the Sockeye on Adams River continues until Sunday, Oct. 21 at 4 p.m.

Michelle Mungall’s baby first in B.C. legislature chamber

B.C. energy minister praises support of staff, fellow MLAs

B.C. man who abducted and assaulted 11-year-old girl has parole rules tightened

Brian Abrosimo made ‘inappropriate and sexualized’ comments to female staff

Canucks: Pettersson in concussion protocol, Beagle out with broken forearm

Head coach Travis Green called the hit ‘a dirty play’

Most Read