The Canada Revenue Agency continues to ramp up enforcement action against those believed to be involved in real estate related tax evasion.
The agency said Wednesday that it has executed two search warrants in Vancouver with 16 of its investigators searching for evidence corresponding to the commission of offences against the Income Tax Act, Excise Tax Act, and the Criminal Code.
The operation was part of an ongoing CRA criminal investigation that identified approximately $3 million in unreported income in an alleged attempt to evade payment of tax.
With the high number of real estate transactions in the Lower Mainland and other major centres across Canada, the CRA is focusing its efforts in these markets to ensure that those who are non-compliant are identified and prosecuted.
In 2018-2019, there were 22 convictions, with 12 taxpayers sent to jail for a total of 19 years. These individuals were sentenced for wilfully evading payment of $4,179,089 in taxes.
The penalties for being convicted of tax evasion can include fines ranging from 50% to 200% of the evaded taxes and up to five years in jail. Being convicted of tax fraud under section 380 of the Criminal Code carries a sentence of up to 14 years in jail.
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