Yes, the CRA Does Prosecute for Tax Evasion – Are You at Risk?
It is a common misconception that the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is lax when it comes to prosecuting for tax evasion. While we may not hear about regular citizens being prosecuted on a regular basis, the reality is that the CRA is actually quite aggressive.
Don’t believe us? Not only does the CRA prosecute on a regular basis, it also publishes such convictions online. You can view these here: http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/nwsrm/cnvctns/menu-eng.html.
As you can see, being prosecuted by the CRA is both expensive and humiliating.
What can you do to avoid this predicament? Firstly, it is important to note that it is not illegal to have a tax debt – it is, however, illegal not to file your taxes. Not filing your income taxes is considered tax evasion, and this is what many of the above referenced convictions are for. So, if you have not filed because you can’t pay your tax debt, know that this is the worst approach you can take.
Instead, it is better to file with a plan to deal with the financial problem than to continue to ignore the problem altogether.
Once you file and receive your assessment outlining the debt you owe, be wary of contacting the CRA directly. This will often lead to a payment plan that you can’t afford. The CRA is not interested in long-term payment arrangements, and agents will use all available tactics to see the money paid.
If you do not call the CRA directly or make other arrangements, and instead hope that the CRA will forget about the debt, you’ll likely find yourself dealing with enforcement action, such as a wage garnishment or frozen bank account, in the near future. When it comes to tax debts, the CRA is ruthless, and make no mistake, if you owe, they’ll be coming to collect.
Great, so you don’t file and face prosecution or you file and face enforcement action, neither of which are great outcomes. There is hope. There are federal government programs that can help you deal with the tax debt, reduce penalties and interest, and stop enforcement action. There are also a variety of debt solutions that can help you pay off the tax debt (and consolidate all other debts) and get you back to a place of financial security.
At DebtCare, we can help you work through all of the available options for getting rid of your tax debt.
Want to find out more? Get in touch today by calling 1-888-890-0888.