The CRA Whistleblower Program, also known as the Informant Leads Program, is one where anyone can report an individual or corporation for not complying with tax laws. The mandate of the Informant Leads Program is to co-ordinate all leads received from whistleblowers and to ensure that the appropriate departments receive those leads for enforcement action.
What information does CRA want to learn? Names and contact information of suspects, SIN numbers, dates of birth, spouse names, business names, names of shareholders, names of related companies, the type of tax fraud you suspect, details of observations, any copies of documents, information on documents you have seen and what they indicated, location of documents, information about individuals and businesses dealing in cash, information on assets, liabilities, expenses or suspects and more. The list goes on.
Providing your own contact information is optional, but as announced in the 2013 Economic Action Plan, there may be financial incentives to providing your information when snitching. Specifically CRA launched the Offshore Tax Informant Program (OTIP) as part of the 2013 Economic Action Plan, which offers financial awards to individuals who report to CRA on non-compliance of taxes that result in over $100,000 in additional federal tax being assessed and collected.
It seems that CRA is paying for information from the USA. The National Post reported that a Utah man has collected a bounty after turning in a suspected Canadian fraudster living in that state. The Utah Securities Commission awarded its first ever whistleblower $15,000.00 USD, to a financial advisor who reported on activities that led to criminal charges being laid against “a Canadian national” living in the state. Read the full article here.
CRA has made it easier than ever for someone to blow the whistle on you. They can do this by phone or anonymously through the CRA website. How long do you think it will take for Canada to issue its first financial rewards under OTIP?
Who is likely to blow the whistle on you? It is usually those with a motive, like ex-spouses, business partners and employees – but in the case of the UTAH man it was actually a financial advisor. It makes it very difficult to know who to trust, so if you are someone who suspects that someone may blow the whistle on you, it pays to consult a tax firm that specializes in these cases.
You need to have an expert guide you through the one-shot programs at CRA for bringing your tax records up to date – and you must act before CRA contact you in any way in respect of such tax information.
There are a number of things that you can do to ensure that a past indiscretion as it relates to your taxes is resolved before CRA gets to you. Also, in the event that you do not come under investigation by CRA and they start sniffing around asking questions you will want to learn how to handle this without exposing yourself to unnecessary attacks, excessive penalties and interest and, worst of all, risk criminal prosecution.
For more about the CRA Whistleblower Program and how to avoid unnecessary hassles and penalties, please contact Tax Solutions Canada today at 1-888-868-1400.