Can tax evasion be resolved without criminal charges and prosecution, if the taxpayer simply files and pays the taxes owed?
The short answer is this: the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) can and likely will prosecute you after you’ve committed tax evasion – even if you approached them with the intention of settling up.
In a recent online news release, the CRA briefly explained its policy regarding prosecution:
“Individuals who have not filed returns for previous years, or who have not reported all of their income, can still voluntarily correct their tax affairs. They will not be penalized or prosecuted if they make a valid disclosure before they become aware of any compliance action being initiated by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) against them.”
Consequences of Detected Tax Evasion: Urgent Legal Advice for Effective Resolution
It’s true that you can attempt to make that voluntary correction through the CRA’s Voluntary Disclosures Program. But if the CRA has already learned of possible tax evasion– a good example being the HSBC banking information leak we blogged about last week – it may be a different matter.
If you’ve been evading taxes and the CRA has noticed this activity, you do not have the option of paying back the missed taxes. The agency usually does not hesitate to prosecute these knowing evaders, even if they try to come clean. It’s best to seek legal advice quickly.
If you are being questioned or investigated by the CRA about possible tax evasion, your first step should be speaking with a lawyer experienced in financial crime. For more information, contact the Ottawa criminal defence lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth by email email@example.com or by phone (613) 699-8192.