Polygamous leader’s tax trial set for January

30 Oct

Polygamous leader Winston Blackmore will testify under oath for the first time about his ‘lifestyle’ during his 12-day trial in federal Tax Court begins Jan. 23, 2012.

Blackmore had asked for an unprecedented ban on the publication and use of any witness testimony or evidence related to polygamy during his tax trial so that none of that information could be used against him in any future criminal trial. His motion was denied by Judge Campbell Miller. Blackmore is not appealing the decision and now has three months to pay the $50,000 in court costs that Miller ordered him to pay.

Polygamy is illegal in Canada, but the law is under review by Chief Justice Robert Bauman of the B.C. Supreme Court, who was asked by the B.C. government to determine if the criminal sanction is constitutional since the Charter of Rights guarantees religious freedom and freedom of expression.

Blackmore’s unprecedented request was denied earlier this month, clearing the way for his trial which is also a precedent-setting case to determine how he and his extended family ought to be taxed.

Blackmore is appealing the reassessment of his personal income tax filings for 2002 to 2006 that concluded he had under-estimated his earnings by $1.5 million and the $147,000 he was assessed in penalties.

At issue is whether Blackmore’s large family (which includes 19 or more wives and more than 130 children), plus his extended family of siblings and their multiple wives and children constitute a “congregation” for tax purposes.

The government of Canada says they don’t. Up until 2002 when he was ex-communicated by the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Blackmore was the bishop of the congregation in Bountiful, B.C. Since then, the government says he and his family are not “a constituent part of any religious organization.”

In Tax Court, it’s up to the taxpayer to prove that the government’s interpretation is wrong. So, it will be up to Blackmore, his wives and others to prove that they all lived and worked together and share beliefs. And under cross-examination, lawyers for Canada will be able to ask questions about all of that including how many wives Blackmore had during the disputed tax years and where they all lived.
 
(Vancouver Sun, June 8, 2011)

Original text from: http://www.facts.org.cn/Reports/World/201106/t130631.htm

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: