The Canada Revenue Agency has been busy dishing out fines and jail time for people convicted of income tax evasion and and failing to file income tax returns. They actually publish some of the cases on their website since the information has been made public and doesn’t contain anything that is confidential. They want to make sure that the average person has confidence in the system since almost everyone files their taxes and pays up on time. They want people to know that at least some people that are cheating the system will be caught and punished. They believe that publicizing the cases will be a deterrent for anyone that might be thinking of avoiding their taxes. Here is what the CRA has to say about this subject on their website at http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/nwsrm/cnvctns/menu-eng.html
“The vast majority of Canadians pay their taxes. In fairness to all those law-abiding citizens, the CRA conducts compliance programs to ensure the uniform application of the laws it administers.
The CRA seeks publicity on conviction in the case of tax evasion. It does this to maintain confidence in the integrity of the self-assessment system, and to increase compliance with the law through the deterrent effect of such publicity.
The CRA may also seek publicity at different stages of an investigation, for example when information relating to the laying of criminal charges becomes available to the public through court records, to warn Canadians of potential fraud schemes.
If you have information about a suspected violation of any tax law, please contact the CRA Informant Leads Program.
The Voluntary Disclosures Program (VDP) promotes compliance with Canada’s tax laws by encouraging taxpayers to come forward to correct inaccurate or incomplete information and/or to disclose information that has not previously been reported to the CRA. Taxpayers may avoid penalties or prosecution if they make a valid disclosure before they become aware of any compliance action being taken by the CRA against them. These taxpayers will have to pay the taxes owing, plus interest.
For more information about the Criminal Investigations Program, go to The CRA’s Criminal Investigations Program”
Although they can’t catch everyone, it is worth knowing that even if you have been cheating the system for a number of years, they can still catch up to you.