If I am Being Audited by the Canada Revenue Agency, Do I Need a Lawyer?

OTTAWA CRIMINAL DEFENCE LAWYER – Tax evasion in Ontario is complicated in that you won’t be charged right away for an alleged offence. First, a national crown corporation called the Canada Revenue Agency will conduct an audit or investigation of your tax information in order to determine whether tax evasion may have actually taken place.

One common question we hear is: “Do I need to get help from a criminal defence lawyer if I am being audited or investigated for an Ontario tax evasion offence?”

That’s a tricky question to answer because charges have not necessarily been laid yet. Why hire a criminal lawyer if you are not facing any charges under the Criminal Code of Canada? I wrote a new article to explain why you absolutely should get a criminal defence lawyer’s help at this stage in the process.

One mistake people make is that they believe their accountant can help them. This can be a fatal error. I have seen cases where the client’s accountant is forced to testify against the client.

You can read it here on the site: Canada Revenue Agency Investigations and Hiring an Ontario Criminal Lawyer.

An audit or investigation by the Canada Revenue Agency is to be taken seriously – it can be just as complex and stressful as many criminal investigations. Why not take some of the burden off of your own shoulders and let a top criminal lawyer help you fight the accusations early on?

If you are being investigated or audited by the Canada Revenue Agency for possible tax evasion, you need to get legal help from an Ontario criminal defence lawyer sooner rather than later. For more information, contact the Ottawa lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth by email [email protected] or by phone at (613) 233-4529.

Canada Revenue Agency Investigations and Hiring an Ontario Criminal Lawyer

OTTAWA CRIMINAL DEFENCE LAWYER – The Canada Revenue Agency detects and reports possible income tax evasion activity in Ontario. They accomplish this by conducting audits and investigations on tax returns and reviewing documents that the Agency feels might be false. These false tax documents can be created in three ways:

  • Income is understated in order to reduce income tax payment levels.
  • Income goes unreported, even though it was allegedly received by the individual.
  • Ontario Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) is not remitted even though it is owed.

If the Canada Revenue Agency flags your tax returns, their next step may be to audit or investigate you for tax evasion activity. While there may not yet be any criminal charges at this point, it is crucial that you seek the help of a top criminal defence lawyer sooner rather than later.

Wondering why you need a lawyer even though you haven’t been charged? Here are a few good reasons:

  1. You need the help of someone who thoroughly understands the Agency’s guidelines, practices, and structure, and who has experience dealing with them.

Your objective at this point is probably to clear yourself of any involvement in a tax evasion scheme. I must emphasize that this is not something you are equipped to do alone – the Agency’s structure and methods are complicated and you might even accidentally say something that hurts your situation. Let a top criminal lawyer deal with your charges early on and on your behalf.

  1. It’s always smarter to start building your defence as soon as possible.

Don’t lose valuable preparation and fact-gathering time by waiting until you have been charged – get a lawyer who can help you figure out what information is necessary, and help you start to gather that information immediately. You and your lawyer can use these facts and evidence to defend yourself if you are eventually charged.

  1. A lawyer understands your specific tax evasion case.

A top criminal defence lawyer knows the rights you are entitled to when being investigated by the CRA and can ensure your rights are protected. Without proper legal representation, your rights may be violated without you ever knowing it.

If you are being audited or investigated by the Canada Revenue Agency, choosing the best criminal lawyer to represent you is an important decision. For more information, contact the Ottawa white-collar crime lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth by email [email protected] or by phone at (613) 233-4529.

Can Canada Revenue Agency Employees be Charged with Ontario Fraud?

OTTAWA CRIMINAL DEFENCE LAWYER – Alleged fraud in Ontario is often detected by agencies such as the Canada Revenue Agency or the Canada Anti-Fraud Centre, before it is reported to authorities and charges are laid.

It’s fair to ask, then: if I am an employee of the Canada Revenue Agency, or a similar government agency tasked with preventing white collar crime, is there a chance I can avoid charges, or be given special treatment during my prosecution?

In the CBC’s recent story, Canada Revenue Employee Faces Fraud Charges, we saw a great example of the answer – employees at the Canada Revenue Agency and other financial agency receive no special protection against fraud and related charges. If they are charged with fraud, they are prosecuted in the same fashion as any other worker would be.

In this case, the Canada Revenue Agency employee charged with fraud allegedly used his position within the agency to facilitate fraud – by advertising himself as a tax consultant.

This kind of misrepresentation can result in criminal charges and even a conviction – regardless of where you work. The individual charged in this story ended up with numerous serious charges:

  • Two counts of fraud over $5,000.
  • Breach of trust.
  • Secret commissions.
  • Uttering a Forged Document.

If you have been charged with any kind of fraud in Ontario, you need to get the best possible legal help. A top criminal lawyer can inform you of what consequences you may face, and more importantly, fight your charges in order to avoid them. For more information, contact the Ottawa lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth by email [email protected] or by phone at (613) 233-4529.

Can I settle my unreported, unpaid taxes to avoid being charged with income tax evasion?

OTTAWA TAX EVASION LAWYER- Can tax evasion be resolved without criminal charges and prosecution, if the taxpayer simply files and pays the taxes owed?

The short answer is this: the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) can and likely will prosecute you after you’ve committed tax evasion – even if you approached them with the intention of settling up.

In a recent online news release, the CRA briefly explained its policy regarding prosecution:

“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 valid disclosure before they become aware of any compliance action being initiated by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) against them.”

It’s true that you can attempt to make that voluntary correction through the CRA’s Voluntary Disclosures Program. But if the CRA has already learned of possible tax evasion– a good example being the HSBC banking information leak we blogged about last week – it may be a different matter.

If you’ve been evading taxes and the CRA has noticed this activity, you do not have the option of paying back the missed taxes. The agency usually does not hesitate to prosecute these knowing evaders, even if they try to come clean. It’s best to seek legal advice quickly.

If you are being questioned or investigated by the CRA about possible tax evasion, your first step should be speaking with a lawyer experienced in financial crime. For more information, contact the Ottawa criminal defence lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth by email [email protected] or by phone (613) 233-4529.

Canada Revenue Agency Audits and Tax Evasion

OTTAWA TAX EVASION LAWYER – The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is the organization in charge of examining your tax return, which includes income, expenses, investments, and other financial matters.

When a taxpayer doesn’t pay the full legally-required amount of income tax, as determined by their return, there’s a chance they will be audited or even investigated by the CRA – and perhaps accused of income tax evasion as a result.

The CRA employs assessors and investigators who review Canadians’ tax documentation. They are specially trained to spot overstated or understated entries. When they find a false entry, it can result in higher taxes, interest, and penalties.

An audit takes things one step further. The agency will call for an audit or investigation if they suspect that tax evasion – a criminal offence in Canada – has occurred. After the CRA finishes an investigation, the taxpayer in question may be charged.

The CRA decides who to audit based on a number of information sources:

  • Formulas and algorithms, developed to detect irregular or suspicious tax information.
  • The CRA has a “tip line,” where individuals can send in a tip alerting the agency to an instance of tax evasion, or related offences.
  • Occasionally, information on individuals’ financial circumstances will be sent to the CRA by whistleblowers, foreign authorities, or other sources.

Occasionally, disclosures from that third group can cause much concern for the CRA and potentially lead to many audits. That’s what we saw in the recent news story involving HSBC in Switzerland, and it is likely that many of the 1,785 Canadians whose names were transferred over may be audited or investigated by the CRA in connection with possible tax evasion activity.

In situations where the taxpayers’ money is held in foreign banks – especially with Swiss banks which are famous for their secrecy – that taxpayer may think that their financial information is safe from assessors and auditors.

Unfortunately, it’s not that simple – accountants are not protected by any professional privilege, and therefore must disclose client information if they are ordered to by the CRA or by the court.

If the CRA is auditing you, or you have concerns that an assessment may result in an audit, the first thing you should do is seek expert advice. A lawyer experienced in defending income tax evasion can help you proceed. What you should not do is attempt to deal with the accusations yourself, without appropriate legal advice and the aid of a professional.

If you have already been charged with tax evasion, it’s crucial that you hire a lawyer who is experienced with large-scale tax cases, and has a proven track record defending against accusations of white-collar crime. For more information, contact the criminal defence and tax evasion lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth by phone 613-233-4529 or by email [email protected]