Canada Revenue Agency

Canada Revenue Agency

April 24, 2009 08:25 ET

CRA/Ontario Residents Fined Over $455,000 for Failing to File Tax Returns: Can You Afford to Not File?

MISSISSAUGA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - April 24, 2009) - The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) announced today that over one hundred Ontario residents were prosecuted and convicted for failing to file personal or corporate tax returns in 2008, resulting in court fines totalling $445,200 and jail terms totalling 385 days. Individuals convicted of not filing tax returns must still file the tax return, and pay the full amount of taxes owing, plus interest, as well as any civil penalties that may be assessed by the CRA.

In 2008, CRA officers also obtained 108,870 personal or corporate tax returns from people in Ontario who were required to file, but had not done so. The additional taxes, penalties, and interest recovered from those returns totaled $876,784,358, including penalties of $127,770,836.

The CRA reminds individuals that the deadline for filing personal income tax and benefit returns is midnight on April 30, 2009. Self-employed individuals and their spouses have until June 15, 2009, to file their 2008 returns. However, if you have a balance owing for 2008, you still have to pay it on or before April 30, 2009.

If you owe tax for 2008, and do not file your return for 2008 on time, we will charge a late-filing penalty. The penalty is 5% of your 2008 balance owing, plus 1% of your balance owing for each full month that your return is late, to a maximum of 12 months. If we charged a late-filing penalty on your return for 2005, 2006, or 2007 your late-filing penalty for 2008 will be 10% of your 2008 balance owing, plus 2% of your 2008 balance owing for each full month that your return is late, to a maximum of 20 months.

Electronic filing continues to increase in popularity. Almost 58% of all income tax and benefit returns filed last year were sent using electronic methods, namely EFILE, NETFILE, or TELEFILE. More information on CRA electronic services is available at the following Web pages:

- EFILE www.cra.gc.ca/efile

- NETFILE www.netfile.gc.ca

- TELEFILE www.cra.gc.ca/telefile

Individuals who have not filed returns for previous years, or who have not reported all of their income, can still voluntarily correct their tax affairs. They will not be penalized or prosecuted if they make a full disclosure before the Agency starts any action or investigation against them. These individuals may only have to pay the taxes owing, plus interest. More information on the Voluntary Disclosures Program (VDP) can be found on the CRA's website at www.cra.gc.ca/voluntarydisclosures.

The information in this news release was obtained from the court records. Further information on convictions can also be found in the Media Room on the CRA website at www.cra-arc.gc.ca/convictions.

Contact Information

  • Canada Revenue Agency
    Colin Kohlsmith
    Communications Manager
    905-615-2838