Tax evasion is an offence under the Income Tax Act and the Excise Tax Act (for GST/HST) but notably it is not a criminal code offence. Over the years CRA has come up with many policies to actively deter Canadian taxpayers from tax evasion but the new policy of the CRA as implemented in the fall of 2016 came unannounced. As per the new policy of the CRA it has begun to collect the fingerprints of anyone accused of tax evasion, even before they are convicted. The CRA will use police officers to collect the fingerprints. Furthermore these fingerprints which are being uploaded by CRA to the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) database are not only accessible by all Canadian police officers but also by some foreign law enforcement agencies including the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and its border protection officers.
Historically a tax evasion offence was not a bar to entry into the United States. But now with US Homeland Security having access to the fingerprints on file with CPIC based on a charge and although without a conviction may as well result in a block to entry into the US. Furthermore since US Homeland Security vets the names of any passengers on planes overflying US airspace, aggressive enforcement by them could create problems for passengers not even travelling to the US. The CRA policy is unfair because not only does the fingerprinting take place before a taxpayer is convicted but it would take months before the fingerprints are actually removed and deleted from the CPIC database in case of wrong accusations. Thus these can lead to travel problems for innocent taxpayers. In such situations our best Canadian tax lawyers can provide you with the representation that you require and help protect your rights.
What can a person facing tax evasion or tax fraud problems do to mitigate these travel problems? The solution to this problem is the Voluntary Disclosure Program (VDP or tax amnesty). Our team of top Canadian tax lawyers will guide you through the solution. The CRA voluntary disclosure program is available before CRA commences a tax audit or tax fraud investigation. Our experienced Canadian tax lawyers submit voluntary disclosure applications on almost a daily basis. A successful VDP application means no tax evasion charges can be brought, and civil penalties are also waived. CRA will always advise a taxpayer before tax evasion charges are brought. A Canadian tax lawyer should be retained immediately to try to prevent tax evasion charges from being levied. If you need tax help contact our Canadian tax law firm for immediate assistance.