Wednesday, June 15, 2016

CRA put liens on Conrad Black home fearing flight from tax debts

The Canada Revenue Agency says it placed liens on Conrad Black’s Toronto mansion because it believed the former media magnate could skip the country without paying $31-million in tax debts to the Canadian and U.S. governments.

Documents filed in Federal Court proceedings related to the liens reveal that Mr. Black, who gave up his Canadian citizenship to sit in the British House of Lords, has little money left in his Canadian bank accounts and has made no attempt to renew a temporary residence permit that expires in September.

23,000-square-foot mansion on 2.6-hectare property, located at 26 Park Lane Circle
Black owes $12.3-million in taxes to the Canadian government and $19.3-million to the U.S. tax department, according to the documents.

Federal Court Justice Denis Gascon agreed with the agency in a May 5 ruling that there were “reasonable grounds to believe” Mr. Black would “waste, dissipate, liquidate or otherwise transfer his assets so as to become less able to pay the tax amounts assessed.” The documents also show an unusual arrangement in the sale of Mr. Black’s mansion, which is now on hold. The undisclosed price was $14-million, which was $5-million less than an appraisal commissioned by Canada Revenue Agency.
In 2014, Mr. Black had $1.1-million in the British Caribbean Bank, but that balance is now zero, the documents say. His shares in Postmedia, once valued at $491,028, have fallen to $56,416. Between 2004 and 2010, he sold homes he owned in the United States and Britain for about $46-million.

As of March 11, 2016, he had balances of $38,900 and $6,834 U.S. in his Canadian bank accounts.

Black sold his Palm Beach mansion for $23.1m in 2011