In a shift from Western Canada where the tax protest (de-taxer) movement seems to be more prevalent, CRA recently issued a press release about tax fraud charges that were brought against four individuals belonging to a group of de-taxers or tax protesters based in the province of Quebec. Montreal residents Pierre Cardin and Sylvain Quirion, Laval resident Jean-Marc Paquin and Guylaine Tremblay a resident of Contrecoeur, are charged with having advised and enabled 50 Canadian taxpayers to claim inappropriate losses totaling $19,057,621, thereby evading or trying to evade more than $1 million in federal income tax. The tax protesters were arrested and then released on a promise to appear and with court imposed bail conditions.
Tax protest arguments have been rejected by every court in which they have been made. For those involved in tax protester tax fraud, CRA will reassess income tax owing, charge interest and impose tax penalties. They will also often bring tax evasion charges, which, upon a conviction, the court may impose a fine between 50% and 200% of the tax evaded and a jail term of up to five years. Taxpayers who have made a tax mistake or omission, including wilful participation in a tax protest scheme, may be eligible to correct their tax affairs through the CRA Voluntary Disclosures Program (VDP or tax amnesty).
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