Understanding Tax Evasion vs. Tax Avoidance

Understanding Tax evasion vs. Tax Avoidance

Tax Evasion is illegal; it is the evasion of taxes by taxpayers including individuals and businesses such as corporations. Under tax evasion taxpayers intentionally misrepresent the true income or tax owing status to the tax authorities to reduce their tax liability. Such act may include false tax filing, such as report less income, profits or gains than actual or inflating expenses or deductions. The extent of tax evasion is measured in the amount of unreported income, which is the difference between the reported income and the actual income.

Tax avoidance, on the other hand, is not illegal. It is when taxpayers use tax laws to reduce tax liability. Both tax evasion and avoidance are tax noncompliance in different degree, as they cover activities that intend to play with the tax system, although such classification of tax avoidance is disputable, given that avoidance is not illegal.

Canada Revenue Agency CRA Response to Tax Evasion

The degree of tax evasion depends on several factors, such as the amount of income an individual or a corporation has. Normally, when the amounts involved are minimal, the efforts to evade income tax decline. The extent of evasion also depends on the CRA’s tax administration effectiveness.

CRA has been improving its technology, procedure and staff training to combat tax evasion. CRA also adopted various means to reduce tax evasion and increase the level of tax enforcement. Tax auditors are required to identify tax evaders, collect the taxes interest and penalties and often those evaders become published on mass media or CRA website so they can become examples for their fellow Canadian taxpayers to comply with the tax rules.

 

Level of Tax Evasion and Punishment

Just like many other countries, Canadian tax authority considers tax evasion a crime, and the guilty party is liable to fines and/or imprisonment. Dishonestly misreporting income in a Canadian tax return is not necessarily considered a crime. It is also a reality that the extent of evasion depends on the severity of punishment for evasion. As long as you have undeclared income you could face penalties or prosecution for tax evasion. The Canadian Income Tax Act Section 238 and 239 set out details on tax evasion and the penalties for tax evasion in Canada.

The offenders who are guilty under section 239 of the Income Tax Act will be subject to a fine of up to double the amount of the tax that was evaded and/or imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years.

Income tax evasion can lead to criminal charge and it is a serious act. It should be avoided at all costs. If you have been hiding for years from the CRA for unreported or under reported income, you may want to consider cleaning up your tax problems voluntarily. With experienced tax professionals’ help, your damage will be greatly reduced. The worst nightmare happens when after many years of hiding, all of sudden CRA starts investigation. You could lose everything overnight. Take risk free action immediately before it is too late. Contact Tax 911 Now, the experienced tax professionals for a private, confidential, free no obligation consultation! Call 1-877-918-2991 today!