Can My Accountant Help Me With My Income Tax Evasion Charges?

While it may seem as though your accountant would be able to help you face tax evasion charges, it is important that you stop talking with your accountant immediately. If you are charged with income tax evasion do not discuss your case with your accountant.

Although you may have had a good relationship with your accountant, it is important that you do not discuss your charges with him or her. This is because your accountant could potentially unwillingly become a witness against you in court. If this happens, you don’t want them to have anything to say against you.

The Canada Revenue Agency or the prosecutors can use your accountant as a witness in court. In fact, your accountant could be compelled to be a witness for the prosecutors, even if he or she doesn’t want to. If called as a witness, your accountant would have to honestly answer all of the prosecutor’s questions and will be required to tell the court everything that you shared with him or her. This could potentially damage your case so it is important that you do not give any information about your charges or your case with your accountant.

If you are charged with income tax evasion, the first thing you should do is enlist the help of an experienced criminal defence lawyer. If your accountant is interested in your case and wants to know details, even if they offer their “help”, it is best if you politely tell them that you are unable to discuss your case with them. It is possible that you will be able to resume contact with your accountant at a later date, but until your lawyer advises you in this way, refrain from discussing your case with your accountant. This is one way that you can do all that you can to ensure your defence is as strong as possible.

Can Ontario Accountants and Tax-Preparers be Charged and Convicted of Tax Evasion?

OTTAWA CRIMINAL DEFENCE LAWYER – Often when an individual is charged with income tax evasion, he or she wasn’t the only one taking care of the tax records. The same goes for business – in many cases, an accountant is involved in preparing tax returns and other tax documents.

As a criminal defence lawyer, a question I sometimes hear is: can an Ontario accountant be charged or eventually convicted for involvement in a client’s tax evasion?

The recent case of R. v. Leo-Mensah served as a poignant reminder that any accountant or financial professional who knowingly assists his or her clients in committing tax evasion can be charged and prosecuted for doing so.

In that case, an Ontario accountant ended up going to court and being convicted. Between 2003 and 2005, he had prepared tax returns for 300 different clients – many of which allegedly contained false claims for charity donations.

The accountant ended up being charged with one charge of fraud and two charges of income tax evasion – the accountant had failed to report income he allegedly received from completing the fraudulent returns. He was convicted of the offences – leading to a large fine and a prison sentence.

So if you are an accountant in Ontario, and one or more of your clients are being investigated or prosecuted for tax evasion, you are not immune from tax evasion charges.

If you are an accountant or professional who is being investigated or charged in connection with income tax evasion, it’s important to speak with a top criminal defence lawyer who can help you understand your rights and advise you on how to proceed. For more information, contact the Ottawa criminal defence lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth by email [email protected] or by phone at (613) 233-4529.