CRA Now Palling Around with PayPal

CRA has required PayPal to disclose sales and other transaction records for Business Account Holders from January 1, 2014 to November 10, 2017. It is expected CRA will review records for unreported sales. For more details, see https://www.paypal.com/ca/smarthelp/article/cra-information-request-faq3755

On an unrelated note, you can now also pay your taxes via PayPal. For more information, see https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/about-canada-revenue-agency-cra/pay-credit-card.html

CRA Strategies On Offshore Tax Evasion: The World is Shrinking

A recent article reported that CRA is reviewing every electronic fund transfer over $10,000 from Canada to four foreign jurisdictions per year. The first two targets were the Isle of Man and the Island of Guernsey, with two more undisclosed jurisdictions to be reviewed by March 31, 2017. CRA has started audits of 166 high-risk taxpayers and sent over 1,000 “nudge” letters to lower risk taxpayers. For 2017-2018, CRA plans on reviewing about 100,000 fund transfers to four other undisclosed jurisdictions.

The article also noted that the Offshore Tax Informant Program received over 3,000 tips as of October 31, resulting in almost 200 audits and 124 active files under review.

In addition to these activities, a November 14, 2016 Huffington Post article indicated CRA identified 2,600 documents with a Canadian link, opened 85 investigations into Canadians, and has commenced 60 audits with respect to the Panama Papers.

If transferring funds offshore, retain appropriate documentation in case of CRA review.

How CRA Spent Their Summer: Vancouver Real Estate Audit

In the summer of 2016, CRA commenced a project to examine taxpayers holding expensive properties in Vancouver where only low amounts of income were reported. The goal of the project was to identify unreported worldwide income, property “flipping”, underreporting of capital gains on sales, and underreporting GST on sales of new homes. CRA has reported that they recovered more than $30 million as a result of this project.

For more information about this project and its result, see: http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/gncy/cmplnc/rlstt/menu-eng.html.

Audit Fun Facts

Did you know?

  • Being audited by CRA does not mean that an individual will not be audited in the next year. Where CRA obtains additional tax as a result of an audit, the likelihood of a follow-up audit is generally increased.
  • It is possible for the CRA, and other similar bodies, to use social media to identify taxpayers for audits, or even to use as evidence against the taxpayer in the course of a reassessment. What might you post that would place you at risk of audit? Boasting about the creation of large balances in a TFSA, for example. If the CRA believes that an individual is carrying on an equity trading business within the TFSA account, they may challenge the tax-free status of the account.
  • Repeatedly filing your returns late, even if you don’t owe tax, could make CRA curious…