Just as tax season is on the minds of many Canadians at this point in time, there are some important changes made by the CRA (Canada Revenue Agency) this year, that are sure to have some major implications for Canadian taxpayers.
For starters, a recent crack down on taxes have been implemented, which address the specific areas of Tax Avoidance and Tax Evasion in Canada. The reality is that while many Canadians work hard and are diligent when it comes to paying their taxes, there are many who look to avoid paying, many of them being from the wealthier income bracket.
As a response to this ongoing concern, the Canadian Government has taken strong action in order to identify and deter tax evasion in Canada, including offshore tax cheating practices.
Since the 2016 budget was announced, the government invested sizeable funds into these efforts – with $444 million given to the CRA to ensure these results can be met.
As per the CRA, the group is currently committed to cracking down on tax evasion in the following ways:
INCREASED AUDITS: extensive monitoring in order to recover over $13 billion this fiscal year alone in audits
OFFSHORE TAX EVASION: 100 more personnel will focus their efforts on many of the large multinational corporations & more auditors specializing in offshore tax evasion
TAX SCHEMES: more personnel teams will focus on those individuals promoting aggressive tax schemes
HIGHEST RISK TAXPAYERS: current audits in progress targeting offshore high risk taxpayers (locating in Isle of Man and Guernsey.) Other areas of offshore tax evasion are set to be audited in the near future, yet the specific jurisdictions have not yet been identified.
Ultimately, the allowed budget as well as the number of increased individuals hired to investigate these tax schemes, in large part include an intensified review of all of the more sizeable, real-time international money transfers.
How will this affect Canadians?
As previously mentioned, for those Canadians who are upfront in regards to their yearly taxes, these new tax evasion efforts should not affect them in the least. For those Canadians, however, who do not act with transparency, this CRA crack down on taxes is likely to have a significant impact.
These ambitious tax evasion efforts have the potential to affect the lives of many Canadians, not only for those who seek to avoid paying their taxes, but also for those who are upfront when filing their taxes.
If you have been struggling with debt and the idea of paying higher taxes is a major cause of stress for you, hopefully you can rest assured that the CRA is taking steps to find a fairer balance among all Canadian taxpayers.