The federal government and has launched an online consultation so Canadians can voice their opinions on the Canada Revenue Agency’s (CRA) proposed changes to tighten the Voluntary Disclosures Program to crack down on tax cheats.
“Our government has made cracking down on tax cheats a priority, because when everyone pays their fair share, we all continue to benefit from the social programs that improve our quality of life,” stated National Revenue minister Diane Lebouthillier in an announcement June 9.
The proposed changes to the program come from an extensive review of the program in response to the recommendation of the Standing Committee on Finance, as well as input from Lebouthillier’s Offshore Compliance Advisory Committee. The proposals include narrowing the criteria of who is eligible; ensuring that severe cases of non-compliance do not benefit from the same level of penalty and interest relief; ensuring that requests that disclose proceeds of crime are excluded from relief; and requiring payment of the estimated taxes owing as a condition to qualify for the program.
The CRA’s online consultations on the Voluntary Disclosures Program will be open for 60 days. The CRA will announce changes to the program in the fall of 2017.