Canada Revenue Agency

Canada Revenue Agency

April 17, 2009 09:52 ET

CRA: Tax Cheating Is a Crime

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - April 17, 2009) - The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) reminds Canadians that not complying with the tax laws will result in serious consequences. Once caught, tax cheats face fines, penalties, and even jail-and they must always pay the taxes they tried to evade.

In 2007-2008, CRA criminal investigations led to convictions in 299 cases of tax evasion or fraud, or 96% of the files prosecuted. Courts across Canada imposed close to $27.5 million in fines. Offenders were sentenced to a total of more than 44 years in prison.

Convictions for tax evasion, including not filing tax returns and making false declarations, can result in court imposed fines of up to twice the taxes evaded, plus jail time. In addition, taxpayers still have to pay the taxes owed and all other civil penalties and interest imposed by the CRA.

The CRA's Voluntary Disclosures Program is available to taxpayers who want to correct their tax affairs before the CRA begins any audit action or investigation. If you make a full disclosure before we start any compliance action, you only have to pay the taxes owing plus interest, but you will not have to pay any penalties nor face prosecution in the courts.

The CRA works hard to take action against those who are not paying their share. Tax cheats place an unfair burden on law-abiding individuals and businesses by reducing the amount of money available for important government programs like health care, education, and the environment.

For information on investigations, convictions, or coming forward to correct inaccurate information through the Voluntary Disclosures Program, go to on the CRA Web site.

Contact Information

  • Canada Revenue Agency
    Noel Carisse
    Media Relations