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Voluntary Disclosure Program smFor years now, the Voluntary Disclosure Program has been an important resource for Canadians looking to become tax compliant. Those who have fallen behind or made incorrect claims/statements on their income taxes can approach the CRA voluntarily in the hopes of avoiding penalties and interest. However, according to a report released Thursday, that’s about to change. On December 8, 2016, the Canada Revenue Agency released “Report on the Voluntary Disclosures Program” and the outcome is not promising for those who’ve yet to come forward.

The Globe and Mail states that “the Offshore Compliance Advisory Committee called for a series of changes to the Voluntary Disclosure Program (VDP). In particular, the committee said there should be harsher penalties against taxpayers who used offshore vehicles, hid large amounts of income or did so for a number of years.”

Recommendations made by the advisory committee incorporate several changes, including, as noted, stricter treatment of those who’ve knowingly cheated the system. Another recommendation suggested the CRA take measures to force those taking advantage of the program “to provide information on any accountant or adviser who helped them to engage in tax evasion or avoidance, to find other taxpayers who may have broken the rules.”

Yet another recommendation made was that the CRA should avoid approving VDP applications too quickly, and instead investigate further into each matter. The committee noted that with each VDP case there is potential for those applying to still be hiding large amounts of unreported income with no intention of declaring it.

For those who are aware of the program and know that taking advantage of it would be in your best interest, time is no longer on your side. Once these new rules are in place, the program itself will look drastically different. Being approved for the Voluntary Disclosure Program will not only be more difficult, it could set you up for even harsher penalties and perhaps even an audit.

Don’t wait any longer. Get your VDP application in as soon as possible to avoid the harsh new regulations suggested by the advisory committee.

At Tax Solutions Canada, we can help you navigate the VDP process. Call us today at 1-888-868-1400.

You can read the full Globe and Mail article here: