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Sat May 5, 2012, 12:57 AM

Polygamous family deemed unworthy of special tax status

It's now up to a federal tax judge to decide whether the leader of the polygamous community of Bountiful, B.C., is the head of a religious group that deserves special tax status, or whether he's simply the head of an unconventional and very large family without any such protection.

The federal government has been battling Winston Blackmore in court, claiming he underestimated his earnings by $1.5 million over a five-year period between 2000 and 2006.

But in his final submission before the case is handed over to the judge for a ruling, Blackmore's lawyer, David Davies, told the Federal Tax Court Friday that Bountiful is a closed society and deserves the same special tax status afforded to other communities, like Hutterite colonies.

Davies said the proof of that closed society comes in the actions of the community in everything from educating their own children to bride swapping.

full Canadian Press wire story: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/story/2012/05/04/bc-polygamous-tax-trial.html

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