Canada Revenue Agency

Canada Revenue Agency

March 20, 2008 12:35 ET

CRA Executes Large-Scale Search in Significant Tax Fraud Investigation

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 20, 2008) - Over 300 of Canada Revenue Agency's (CRA) investigators and other CRA officers have been executing search warrants across western Canada. The searches, which began last week, were conducted at over 50 separate locations as a result of alleged involvement in fraud related to fictitious Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs), investment scams, and other tax evasion.

RRSP and investment scams are popping up across Canada and the CRA is making its presence known by auditing and investigating the promoters who back these schemes.

"The CRA is taking substantive action against promoters and others who lure Canadians into tax evasion schemes," said CRA Commissioner William V. Baker.

Many Canadians have lost their entire retirement savings by participating in schemes such as the one being investigated today. And then, if the scam involved RRSP withdrawals, the victims have to pay tax on the withdrawals when their income tax returns are reassessed by the CRA.

The CRA is urging Canadians to use caution and check the legitimacy of RRSP funds and investment opportunities before making any contributions. "Canadians should know that they are responsible for taxes and interest owed on taxes evaded, even if a promoter indicates otherwise," said Baker. For more information, please see the tax alert entitled "Protect your retirement savings" at www.cra.gc.ca/alert.

The CRA's Voluntary Disclosures Program (http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/voluntarydisclosures/) gives you the chance to make a full disclosure about any omissions or mistakes you may have made-but you have to go to them before any review, audit or investigation is started. Then, you may only have to pay the taxes owing plus interest, but not the penalties and avoid a criminal investigation and prosecution.

Contact Information

  • Joanne Gorsalitz
    Communications
    403-691-6850