To ensure that all taxes are paid the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) conducts compliance programs.
A vast majority of Canadians pay their taxes, but the CRA looks to convict those who do not. Within the CRA they have a unit dedicated to ensuring compliance so no tax payments are evaded.
Those convicted of tax evasion are at risk of fines ranging from 50% to 200% of the taxes evaded and up to two years imprisonment. Upon conviction of an indictment there are fines ranging from 100% to 200% of the evaded taxes and up to five years in imprisonment that can be imposed.
An individual can face up to 14 years in jail if they are convicted of fraud under Section 380 of the Criminal Code of Canada.
Common offences that warrant criminal prosecution include:
- Making false or deceptive statements in a tax return; or
- Evading or attempting to evade compliance or payment of taxes.
In criminal proceedings, the Crown’s Prosecutor must be able to convince a judge (beyond a reasonable doubt) that you committed an illegal act, and that you also intended to commit that act.
The CRA often seeks out a warrant, which allows them to seize your records. Depending on the warrant, they can search your home, office, your accountant’s office, or other locations which they will use to help in their case.
Being pursued for criminal tax evasion, or think you might be, contact a lawyer at Invictus LLP to know your rights and ensure proper protection and representation during this time.
Invictus LLP’s website contains information of a general nature, was not created to provide legal advice, and you must not rely upon it for legal advice. All tax related matters are fact-driven and will differ from the scenarios we have provided. If you have questions and need tax and legal advice, please contact al lawyer at our office for help!