OTTAWA WHITE COLLAR CRIME LAWYER – Harmonized sales taxes (HST) were introduced to Ontario earlier this year, and we saw resultant increases in the prices we pay for essential consumer services including:
- Home renovations;
- Internet & electricity bills;
- Consumer goods purchased from restaurants, bars, convenience stores, coffee shops, etc.
With that added pressure on Ontario consumers and their wallets, the temptation is greater to find methods of avoiding tax payments.
These “off-the-books” transactions are illegal and can attract criminal tax evasion. Before the introduction of HST you were required to pay sales tax on purchases, and you are still required to do so – even though the GST and PST have been harmonized.
In early July, the Toronto Star spoke with Ontario’s Revenue Minister John Wilkinson and published an article detailing his views on this subject: Province Warns of the Perils of HST Evasion.
In that article, Wilkinson points out that prosecuting tax evaders in Ontario is easier under HST. Under the old system, one case of suspected evasion had to be examined under two different tax systems at different jurisdictions.
Now that there is a harmonized tax system in effect, Ontario tax evasion cases can be prosecuted efficiently at the provincial level.
If you are being investigated or have been charged in connection with tax evasion in Ontario, it’s important that you speak with an experienced white collar crime and tax evasion lawyer who can help you fight your charges and understand your rights. For more information, contact the Ottawa criminal defence lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth by email [email protected] or by phone at (613) 233-4529.