In a self-assessing and self-reporting system of tax like ours, the Canada Revenue Agency (“CRA”) conducts compliance programs to ensure that all taxes are paid.
The vast majority of Canadians pay their taxes.
However, the CRA seeks public conviction against those who do not. The CRA has a specialized unit dedicated to ensuring compliance and no tax payments are evaded.
Persons convicted of tax evasion can face fines ranging from 50% to 200% of the taxes evaded and up to two years imprisonment. Further, upon conviction on an indictment, a fine ranging from 100% to 200% of evaded taxes and up to five years in imprisonment can be imposed.
If convicted of fraud under Section 380 of the Criminal Code of Canada, an individual can face up to 14 years in jail.
Common offences that warrant criminal prosecution include:
In criminal proceedings, the Crown Prosecutor must be able to convince a judge (beyond a reasonable doubt) that you not only committed an illegal act, but that you also intended to. This is their biggest challenge.
The CRA can seize your records located at your home, office or accountants office to help in their case.
If you are being pursued for criminal tax evasion, or think you might be, contact a lawyer at Rosen Kirshen Tax Law to know your rights and ensure proper protection and representation during this time.
This posting provides information of a general nature only. It does not provide legal advice nor can it or should it be relied upon. All taxation situations are specific to their facts and will differ from the situations in the articles and postings. If you have specific legal questions you should consult with a lawyer.