News and Media

What the CRA can and can’t do with your data and social media accounts

11th March 2017

According to Facebook, you’re doing just great. We all just learned that you bought a brand new Mustang. And there are countless pictures of you strolling on sandy beaches. Your tax return, however, paints a different picture. To the CRA, you’re saying you’re only making $20,000 — barely scraping by.

That discrepancy between “Facebook you” and “tax return you” may be part of your undoing in a tax audit.

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CRA expects to track down $400-million in tax crackdown

24th February 2017

Canadian tax authorities expect to track down $400-million this year they say are owed as part of a campaign to crack down on tax evasion by big international companies and wealthy individuals, particularly those using offshore tax havens, a top official says.

The Liberal government provided extra cash to the Canada Revenue Agency in last year’s budget to pursue wealthy tax cheats. The agency is “ahead of plan” in terms of hitting its target, says Ted Gallivan, assistant commissioner at CRA’s compliance programs branch.

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7 ways the tax man is watching you

17th February 2017

Whether it’s through a photo on social media or a casual conversation with a friend, the Canada Revenue Agency is always watching and listening. And their investigators will pursue you tirelessly if they think you’ve been lying on your tax return. Their subject of choice? These days, it’s anyone and everyone.  “We always think it’s only the rich who the tax man is interested in but it’s the little fish they like the best,” says Paul DioGuardi, a senior tax lawyer and author of The Taxman is Watching. “The Internet is becoming a favoured weapon for the CRA to find and analyze all kinds of data so they can watch people they think are cheating on their taxes.”

Here’s five ways the CRA may be watching you that you probably weren’t aware of.

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CRA crackdowns incentive for service workers to declare tips on taxes

30th January 2017

An all-out crackdown on tax dodgers working in Canada’s service industries means the tax man is poised to come down on those who choose not to claim money earned in tips.

“It’s no longer a question of if the Canada Revenue Service (CRA) is going to do an audit or assessment, it’s a matter of when,” says Lisa Gittens, an H & R Block tax professional in Scarborough. “They’re being very specific, almost regimented, in their audits and assessments.”

Whether you’re cutting hair, driving a cab or waiting on tables, 15 per cent of the sales made during a shift is the amount the CRA expects service-sector workers to report on their tax returns for tip earnings, says Gittens. If the CRA finds employees haven’t reported tips or have underestimated their tips, that’s when they are likely to launch an investigation of you or your employer.

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