Vancouver realtor declared only fraction of income on tax return, divorce case reveals

A Vancouver realtor may have made nearly a million dollars in some years while declaring poverty-level incomes on his tax returns, a divorce case has revealed.

Lan Zhao is suing Jianping Zhou in BC Supreme Court to ask for more child support, claiming that the realtor lied about his income on the child support financial statements[1]Zhao v Zhou, 2020 BCSC 516 (CanLII),, retrieved on 2020-04-12.

A report by a court-appointed Grant Thornton LLP forensic accountant found that the Jianping Zhou made $948,973 in 2015, but the realtor only declared only $17,379.67 as income on Line 150 of his tax return.

Jianping Zhou appeared to have expensive tastes.

The forensic accountant’s report states:

37. We note that expenses are incurred by Mr. Zhou on multiple credit cards (in Canada and China) in the range of at least $2,000 to $9,000 per month. It appears that from 2012 to 2016, Mr. Zhou was paying his credit card off three to four times per month (almost on a weekly basis). In 2017 payments seem to be larger and less frequent (approximately once every two weeks).

38. Examples of expenditures noted on credit cards include items such as: sporting goods, alcohol, restaurant, toys, groceries, gas, gun, travel agency, car payments, jewelry, electronic devices, golfing, flights, Dr. Herman Shen (optometrist), Rona, Hugo Boss, Juenesse health/beauty products (thousands of dollars), etc…

In 2016, he declared an income of $925.07.

“The Accountant’s analysis yields income levels well above the amount claimed by the respondent in both his F8 Financial Statements and his income tax returns, creating concerns about the respondent’s credibility,” the Honourable Mr. Justice Ward K. Branch notes.

The judge granted an increase of interim child and spousal support to reflect Jianping Zhou’s imputed income of $200,000.

The realtor disagrees with the methodology of the report and intends to apply for the right to file his own export report to challenge the findings of the court-appointed forensic accountant.

The couple were married in China in August 2007 and have two kids aged 12 and nine.

The realtor was arrested in 2015 as a result of an alleged assault on his wife.

References   [ + ]

1. Zhao v Zhou, 2020 BCSC 516 (CanLII),, retrieved on 2020-04-12