Sunday, April 15, 2012

Tax protestors alive and well and living in Canada

The tax protestor movement is alive and well in Canada and getting some publicity just in time to serve as a warning to Canadian taxpayers readying their annual returns.*   I read with interest the recent case of Russell Porisky and his wife Elaine Gould, who ran a tax evasion counseling scheme out of B.C. for many years.  It seems Porisky cooked up a "natural person" argument about how Canada could not tax people acting in the capacity of natural persons, but could only tax them if they acted (presumably out of fear or ignorance) as legal persons.   Gould went along with Porisky to her detriment; both have been convicted and I believe still await sentencing.  The arguments, like those used by the darlings of the U.S tax protestor movement (led by the great Irwin Schiff, currently serving a 13 year sentence for his part in the ongoing saga), are completely nonsensical as well as spurious but make for good theatre.  

Check out this exchange documented by the judge in the case:
At the close of the Crown’s case I asked Mr. Porisky and Ms. Gould whether they wished to call any evidence.  Mr. Porisky said he could not make that decision unless he understood whether he was to give evidence in his “inherent personality as a natural person with no intent to profit”.  He wanted to tell the truth in the stand but the capacity he was to testify in would make a difference to his evidence.  A few minutes later in the dialogue he said 
I need to know if I make the decision to get into the stand, from which perspective can I speak?  Like therefore I need to know, in the eyes of the law, if one man is two persons, the natural or the legal, okay, which one can I speak as, or does it matter -- am I have the liberty to speak the truth and qualify it so I can speak to everything?  Because what it -- they have commingled a lot of stuff, and for me to properly address it, I'm going to have to be able to speak to everything to properly address it. 
And later:
Again, I feel like I'm being railroaded because I'm asking for clear answers.  I came here with a full intention on defending my -- my rights and -- and not having things being converted into something they're not, and I don't know how to do that if nobody's going to give me a straight answer.  I thought Crown had a duty -- I read their web page and they talk about honour and integrity, and now I'm been led one thing -- and for me to speak to everything, I'm going to need to be able to speak to it from my starting point of my existence. 
I didn't make it up.  Sir John Salmond I think is a highly respected man.  The Supreme Court relies on him.  I didn't make it up that one man's two persons in the eyes of the law.  And so from that perspective, I need -- that's why I tried to be as honourable and as open in the development of this, so that I could speak the truth and the whole truth from the proper perspective, so it does not get misconstrued or mislabelled or presumed to be something it's not.  And that's what I need to know.  If I make the decision and I go in that box, which person, in the eyes of the law am I? 
THE COURT:  You are Mr. Porisky. 
THE ACCUSED PORISKY:  Am I Russell Anthony Porisky in my inherent personality as a natural person, or am I a sovereign-granted personality? 
THE COURT:  You're Russell Porisky. 
THE ACCUSED PORISKY:  That's fairly misleading because that's not clear enough for me, Your Honour. …. 
THE COURT:  … Let's assume you get into the stand… and the Crown asks you, "What did you have for breakfast today?" Would it make a difference as to what capacity you were in? 
THE ACCUSED PORISKY:  For me, it would, Your Honour, yes.
Priceless.   The Court concludes, as it really must, that
"Mr. Porisky’s theory not only does not bear any legal logic but it also fails to accord with common sense.  It is a failed attempt at word magic and has no validity."
Tax protestors and dupes thereof, you've been duly warned.

In a similar case, a Manitoba chiropractor and tax protestor named Rosalie Chobotar was recently sentenced to six months in jail plus a fine of $162,513 for failing to pay her taxes from 2002 to 2007--she signed all her returns with "to the best of my knowledge without understanding."  That's rich!  And so, apparently, was she.  Chobotar seems to have been a “zero income” return filer—someone who filed annually but simply put zero on all of the lines, which she may have learned through the infamous work of Irwin Schiff.  His fraud on the public still lives on at even though the man himself is out of commission until 2016.  I do not advise calling the toll-free number for more information.

Note that both Porinsky and Chobotar defended themselves in court.  You know what they say about the clients of lawyers who defend themselves.  Chobotar actually absconded, apparently by physically leaving the court mid-trial, saying the court or Revenue Canada or both had no jurisdiction over her.  Again, good theater!  But bad outcome.  Lawyers who don't stick around to present their case don't usually win.

* Americans have until this Tuesday to file but north of the border they have until April 30.


  1. A couple of issues in Canada there is no statutory requirement to file a return no matter what someone's level of income if they don't owe any tax.(Unlike in the US where anyone making more $11,500 is supposed to file notwithstanding whether or not they owe any tax. Many don't especially in the lower income brackets but that's another story). Having said that it is highly encouraged that one does file a return even if they owe no tax if they want to take advantage of the low income GST/HST credit for example.

    The stories I always remember about Canadian tax protesters seem to involve this old court case called Lord Nelson Hotel. Constitutional arguments against any form of federal tax in Canada are almost always bogus as the under Canada's Constitution the federal government is allowed to impose "taxation by any system or method". However in the early 1990s several provinces(AB, BC, and ON) challenged the newly enacted and very unpopular GST in court all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada. While the provinces eventually lost it did create an environment where some small businesses felt they really didn't have to register for and collect GST even though most lawyers at the time felt the federal government had a slam dunk case in favor of the GST and the provinces in question were largely seen as trying to score political points based on the unpopularity of the GST.

    Now the subject of "US Person" living in Canada filing US taxes. Well that's another story that is becoming quite the political football. I posted a few links on this subject below.

    I actually found someone who is going to give all of the letters to US Senate Finance Committee(if for anything to cause "trouble"). I am curious what the reaction in DC will be towards this Canadian "interference" in what the US considers domestic tax policy.

  2. The income tax was something our forebears never allowed or wished upon themselves or us, their progeny, and was established covertly and dishonestly under the pretense of financing a war that neither honest men or their progeny wanted, initially with the promise it would only be a temporary measure. Of course, it was a lie, just as is the way with all governments since time immemorial, in their desire to control and manage the population it claims to serve. And, now, under some pretentious and magnanimous move by government, which is really an extension of the will of wealthy and influential international entities, certain people are vilified and singled out and punished for pointing out the inherent rottenness of the system that fails to meet any legitimate cause other than make a few rich bastards even richer.

    Does the tax go toward the roads, as so many seem to tout? NO. Municipal and property taxes pay for that. Where do these monies go? Into the large underground vaults of international banks and corporations that own the 'rights' to printing the currency of every country enslaved by income taxation and in no way benefits the payer except to further enslave him. Interesting how the blogger piped about this case coming "just in time as a warning" to those preparing to fill out their annual tax reports... yes, the system cannot afford to let something like this get out to too many people without making an example of Porisky and his supporters. Is this not the way of all despots, too make examples of those that would challenge their authority, real or imagined?

    Always remember two things: income tax was established as a temporary measure, it was not wanted or desired by the people. Second, the government lied. They still lie.

    As for the previous comment, assuredly there is no law that requires one to pay taxes OUTSIDE of the 'benefits' received, such as GST or other 'credits'. I wonder what measures the government... more precisely, the rich bastards that run the government, would do if everyone were to opt out of this 'benefit' system of theirs, exchanging their desire to be 'kept' for personal sovereignty and self-rule? Would they... could they throw ALL of us in the slammer?

    Income taxation has been around for a comparatively short time in Canadian history. Maybe it's course has run... just sayin'.