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Canadian Accountant Articles

Canada Revenue Agency farcical in treatment of taxpayers

The Canada Revenue Agency made headlines last week and not in a good way. The B.C. Supreme Court awarded over $1.6 million in damages, including punitive damages, against the CRA, having found that its agents had committed the tort of malicious prosecution. The judgment chronicles the type of prosecutorial blinders that I see all too often in my practice.

The CRA investigations officer made up his mind that the couple who owned a restaurant and nightclub in Nanaimo, B.C. (the Samaroos), had unreported cash sales. Once he made up his mind, he did whatever he could to secure a conviction — and the facts be damned!

I cannot do better than to quote The Honourable Mr. Justice Punnett from his blistering 70-page ruling, in which he called the CRA’s behaviour “reprehensible and malicious.”

Are the Canada Revenue Agency tax evasion raids a public relations exercise?

The Canada Revenue Agency made headlines last week and not in a good way. The B.C. Supreme Court awarded over $1.6 million in damages, including punitive damages, against the CRA, having found that its agents had committed the tort of malicious prosecution. The judgment chronicles the type of prosecutorial blinders that I see all too often in my practice.

The CRA investigations officer made up his mind that the couple who owned a restaurant and nightclub in Nanaimo, B.C. (the Samaroos), had unreported cash sales. Once he made up his mind, he did whatever he could to secure a conviction — and the facts be damned!

I cannot do better than to quote The Honourable Mr. Justice Punnett from his blistering 70-page ruling, in which he called the CRA’s behaviour “reprehensible and malicious.”

How effective is the CRA at closing Canada’s tax gap?

The CRA has said repeatedly that the underground economy is a major target of CRA tax investigation. Given that the tax gap information will help monitor how effective the CRA is in its black money blitz, one suspects that the information when finally available will not show it as being especially effective. So, what is the reality of the CRA versus the PR spin it generates?

Are the Canada Revenue Agency tax evasion raids a public relations exercise?

Tax experts say yesterday’s highly public raids by the Canada Revenue Agency, in connection with Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca and the Panama Papers data leak, are “incredibly rare,” and they question whether the CRA’s “extraordinary measures” are an exercise in public relations.

“While I agree that the public needs to know that tax enforcement is taking place, I can't help but think this news release is largely a PR exercise,” says tax lawyer and accountant David Rotfleisch of Toronto-based Rotfleisch & Samulovitch. “After two years, three search warrants are served. Is this really significant news?”

Surprise! Canada Revenue Agency set to release tax gap data this month

The “tax gap” will measure the difference between taxes collected versus what should have been collected. In other words, it provides a measure of the underground economy, and how successful CRA is in fighting it.
Canadian tax lawyer David Rotfleisch says: “The statistics on tax evasion prosecutions have not borne this out, with some 35 successful prosecutions for the latest statistics reported.”

CRA goes fishing for PayPal users on hook for taxes

The Canada Revenue Agency is looking to catch PayPal-registered businesses not declaring income or tax

Trouble in Paradise: The end of tax haven secrecy

Cyberattacks on tax haven law firms, such as Appleby in Bermuda, means client records are no longer confidential

Crackdown: CRA Voluntary Disclosures Program, Conclusion

The Canada Revenue Agency has proposed changes to its Voluntary Disclosures Program (VDP) that would narrow eligibility and impose additional conditions on taxpayers applying to use it. Throughout our five-part series, parties on all sides have wondered whether the CRA will strike the right balance in adjusting a successful program that, for example, recovered a total of $1.7 billion from 19,500 proactive disclosures in the program's 2015-2016 fiscal year.

Crackdown: Part IV

The Canada Revenue Agency has proposed changes to its Voluntary Disclosures Program (VDP) that would narrow eligibility and impose additional conditions on taxpayers applying to use it. But some reformers are praising the changes for addressing social issues.

Crackdown: Part III

The Canada Revenue Agency has proposed changes to its Voluntary Disclosures Program (VDP) that would narrow eligibility and impose additional conditions on taxpayers applying to use it. While some critics of the system applaud the move, tax professionals who deal with the program, in all its complexity, are critical of some of the proposed changes.

Crackdown: Part II

The Canada Revenue Agency has proposed changes to its Voluntary Disclosures Program (VDP) that would narrow eligibility and impose additional conditions on taxpayers applying to use it.

Crackdown: CRA proposes radical change to Voluntary Disclosures Program

The Canada Revenue Agency has proposed changes to its Voluntary Disclosures Program (VDP) that would narrow eligibility and impose additional conditions on taxpayers applying to use it.

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