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Failure to File Returns – No Laughing Matter

In two separate cases released on November 20th, 2015, Canada Revenue Agency (“CRA”) announced that a Saskatchewan taxpayer pleaded guilty to his failure to file personal income tax returns for a 6 year period and the corporate tax returns of a company he owned for the same period of time.

The non-deductible fines imposed in connection with these Charges total $12,000.00. Predictably, the outstanding returns have now been filed.

In a similar case, a Lloydminster, Alberta taxpayer was fined $20,000.00 in connection with his failure to file personal returns for 3 years and GST returns for 5 years. In this particular case, the taxpayer was fined $2,500.00 for each missing return.

It is quite clear that CRA intends to vigorously pursue those persons who choose not to file their tax returns. The best course of action for those persons who are presently not compliant in their tax filing obligations is to make a voluntary disclosure under the Voluntary Disclosure Program. By adopting this strategy, all possibility of prosecution and civil penalties will be avoided.

Please contact Ainsley Furlonger, Linda Smits or Keith Trussler to discuss these options.