CRA must toughen up voluntary disclosure for tax cheats, panel says

Original Author: Daniel LeBlanc

Source: https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/cra-must-toughen-up-voluntary-disclosure-for-tax-cheats-panel-says/article33278781/?ref=http://www.theglobeandmail.com&service=mobile

Interesting to see in 2017 what policy changes are implemented to the Voluntary Disclosure Programs



Thursday, December 8th, 2016 | ACCOUNTING TAXATION


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The Canada Revenue Agency needs to toughen up the program that offers advantageous deals to tax cheats, especially in cases where large amounts of income were not declared through deliberate schemes, a federally appointed committee says.

In a report released Thursday, 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.

The long-standing program is available to taxpayers who have fallen behind in their tax obligations and decide to proactively approach the CRA to settle the matter. The goal, as in other countries that offer voluntary disclosure, is to make it “attractive for non-compliant taxpayers to come forward,” while ensuring the overall fairness of the system for all compliant taxpayers, the committee said.

The CRA handled 19,500 proactive disclosures in the 2015-2016 fiscal year, for a total recovery of $1.7-billion.

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