Han v. R. – TCC: Taxpayer Not Engaged in Insurable/Pensionable Employment

Bill Innes on Current Tax Cases

http://decision.tcc-cci.gc.ca/site/tcc-cci/decisions/en/item/64469/index.do New Window

Han v. The Queen[1] (October 28, 2013) dealt with the appellant’s EI and CPP appeals:

[1]             Zhiyan Han appeals from the Minister’s decisions under the Employment Insurance Act and the Canada Pension Plan that she was not engaged in insurable or pensionable employment with EHERE International Corporation (the “Corporation”) during the period from April 3, 2006 to September 22, 2006.

The appellant, Ms. Han, was the only witness.  Her husband, Mr. Wen, who was integrally involved in the piece, did not testify.  The evidence was that Mr. Wen deposited amounts into a bank account of the Corporation which were then used to pay Ms. Han’s alleged salary.  The court did not accept Ms. Han’s evidence:

[13]        In the Reply, the Minister assumed that the Corporation’s business was not active until 2007.

[14]        Ms. Han successfully demolished this assumption by introducing an invoice for the purchase of electronic equipment that was issued to the Corporation in November 2006, a couple of months after her employment ended. Ms. Han seems to suggest that this invoice supports her position because the Corporation was required to do marketing and research in advance of purchasing this equipment.

[15]        The problem that I have with this submission is that there is no third party evidence that links Ms. Han with any work done by the Corporation. Even if I accept that the Corporation was conducting marketing and research during the period at issue, there is no reliable evidence that Ms. Han performed any of the work.

[16]        Further, Ms. Han testified that she worked regular 8 hour work days. It seems unlikely that Ms. Han could have been occupied doing office work and bookkeeping for 8 hours a day during the infancy of the Corporation.

[17]        Turning to the evidence led by the Crown, it introduced some evidence to support its submission that Ms. Han was involved in a scheme to falsely claim employment insurance benefits. The evidence consisted of bank records which show that Mr. Wen made deposits into the Corporation’s bank account from which Ms. Han received payments purporting to be remuneration.

[18]        Ms. Han testified that the deposits by her spouse were an investment with the Corporation. This brief explanation was not persuasive.

[19]        In addition, during cross-examination Ms. Han was asked about a Canada Revenue Agency questionnaire signed by her spouse. In the questionnaire, Mr. Wen stated that the Corporation owed him several thousand dollars and that most of this investment was Ms. Han’s salary. Ms. Han testified that she had no idea whether this was true.

[20]        I have given no weight to this document because the Minister did not subpoena Mr. Wen to testify. However, Ms. Han’s testimony on this point is significant. I simply do not find it credible that Ms. Han had no idea whether the statements in the questionnaire above were true.

[21]        This is sufficient to dispose of Ms. Han’s appeal.

[1] 2013 TCC 340.