Canadians make meal of tax row.

Canadian officials are investigating a restaurant chain founded by pop singer Celine Dion (above). The superstar was part of a group of five, along with husband and manager Rene Angelil, who set up Nickel’s in 1990. Now 17 outlets of the 45-restaurant chain are at the centre of a £835,000 tax probe by the Canadian government, according to local reports. Tax agents have launched raids against Nickel’s restaurants, including its headquarters in Montreal, and search warrants were issued allowing the removal of papers and classified documents. They are believed to relate to an investigation which began in March when seven Nickel’s outlets were singled out for using illegal software which deletes cash sales from tills and enables users to under-report and evade taxes. A spokesperson for the chain said there were allegations of tax evasion but no official accusations. ‘We are co-operating with Revenue Quebec in order to clarify and bring this investigation to a close,’ the spokesman said. Dion sold her shares in 1997 to Angelil’s cousin, but still acts as a spokesperson on behalf of the chain.

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