This past week the Minister of National Revenue announced that they have received information from the government of France that about 1000 Canadians hold accounts with the HSBC bank in France.
The CRA also announced that they have begun a series of audits. The largest accounts are now being audited, and others will follow. All accounts that are linked to Canadian taxpayers will be reviewed.
It was reported that last year alone the CRA uncovered over 1 billion dollars in unpaid federal taxes being hidden in assets and offshore accounts. During the same year the CRA reported that they recovered $ 138 million in these types of unpaid taxes through the CRA’s Voluntary Disclosure Program.
This should be a serious warning sign that if you have unreported income and/or assets offshore that its time to come clean with the government. Failing to do so is illegal and can land you in big trouble.
Eventually the CRA will find out about the income. The CRA has international tax treaties all over the world and this recent story about the situation with France is a prime example why you cant afford to wait.
Not coming clean could result in an investigation, audit, re-assessment of your returns, exorbitant interest, penalties and even prosecution. Then after the CRA determines what you owe, they will take aggressive enforcement action against you.
There is a solution if you have this problem, which is the Voluntary Disclosure program. The reason the CRA recouped over $ 138 million in unpaid taxes due to these types of cases because of the Voluntary Disclosure Program. An application under the Voluntary Disclosure Program affords you, the tax payer, one opportunity to come clean about undeclared income and investments, avoiding penalties and prosecution.
The Voluntary Disclosure process is a formal process that you should hire a Chartered Accountant to handle. There are different measures, procedures and policies that must be in place in order for the application to be properly submitted, processed and either approved or declined by the CRA.
Our firm has helped many taxpayers successfully file Voluntary Disclosure applications. For more information visit www.fightbacktoday.ca
Mark Feldstein, Chartered Accountant, Mark Feldstein and Associates Chartered Accountants http://www.fightbacktoday.ca