Canada Revenue Agency

Canada Revenue Agency

May 20, 2010 13:42 ET

The CRA Takes Action to Enforce Tax Laws

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 20, 2010) - The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) uses a variety of tools and methods to identify non-compliance and take action to address tax cheating, as well as to correct honest mistakes.

The CRA is committed to promoting the integrity of the tax system through a wide range of compliance activities. In 2008-2009, the CRA:

  • obtained more than 787,000 tax returns from individuals and corporations who had failed to file, which resulted in a fiscal impact of more than $2.3 billion;
  • Conducted close to 374,000 audit and review actions, including 12,800 underground economy audits, and close to 1,200 audits of taxpayers suspected of earning income from illegal activities;
  • Detected almost $1.4 billion of unreported income for small- and medium-sized businesses;
  • Audit programs detected a fiscal impact of $5.2 billion identified through international and large business audits, and $2.2 billion resulting from audits and examinations of small- and medium-sized businesses (includes the fiscal impact of the $1.4 billion of unreported income noted above);
  • Reviewed the books and records of 4,371 businesses to ensure they were properly maintained;
  • Identified over 17,000 participants claiming donations of $484 million in tax shelter arrangements;
  • started legal actions that resulted in the conviction of over 1,100 taxpayers who failed to file their income tax returns;
  • resolved over 17 billion dollars of debt through various collection activities at Tax Services Offices.

In 2008-2009, CRA referrals of criminal investigations to the Public Prosecution Service of Canada resulted in:

  • Courts across Canada imposing fines of close to $29.2 million and offenders sentenced to more than 81 years in prison.
  • Convictions in 323 cases for tax evasion or fraud and convictions obtained in 98% of cases prosecuted. 

The CRA reminds all taxpayers when they file their returns, to be sure to report their income, deductions, and credits accurately. 

More information on the compliance activities the CRA undertook in the past year can be found in the Canada Revenue Agency Annual Report to Parliament 2008 - 2009 at

The CRA's Web site contains information on programs such as the Voluntary Disclosures Program ( This program allows taxpayers to come forward and correct their tax affairs without penalty and prosecution.

Contact Information

  • Canada Revenue Agency
    Noel Carisse
    Media Relations