B.C. polygamous leader appeals tax court ruling, claims charter rights violated
Winston Blackmore is seen as he speaks to the media from the isolated religious commune of Bountiful, B.C. Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2011. (Jonathan Hayward / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Published Tuesday, October 1, 2013 6:20PM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, October 1, 2013 6:28PM EDT
VANCOUVER - British Columbia polygamous community leader Winston Blackmore is appealing a decision by a Federal Tax Court that he underreported his income by $1.8 million.
Documents filed in the Federal Court of Appeal say the trial judge didn't properly interpret a section of the income Tax Act that relates to filing taxes as a congregation.
In the original case, Blackmore argued his polygamous group should be able to use the same tax law that Hutterites use, spreading earnings among members for tax purposes.
But Judge Diane Campbell said in her ruling last August that Blackmore's community in Bountiful, B.C., didn't meet any of the criteria for such a tax break.
The notice of appeal says the judge failed to interpret Blackmore's claim in connection with his rights under the Canadian charter.
Blackmore, who told the court he had 21 wives and 47 children, had his income reassessed and was also hit with a penalty of nearly $150,000 in last month's ruling.