Advisors falling short on providing Canadians tax-planning advice

Tax authorities have charged a quartet of “tax protestors” in Québec, alleging that they operated a scheme which sought to evade more than $1 million in federal income tax.

Tax fraud charges have been laid against four members of a group of so-called “tax protestors” in Quebec connection with allegations they advised 50 taxpayers to claim losses totalling more than $19 million in losses, the Canada Revenue Agency has announced.

In doing so, the taxpayers sought to evade $1.08 million in federal income tax, the CRA alleges. The allegations have not been proven.

Pierre Cardin and Sylvain Quirion of Montreal, Jean-Marc Paquin from Laval, and Contrecoeur resident Guylaine Tremblay were arrested and released with a promise to appear, and court-imposed conditions, the CRA says in its announcement.

The agency also reiterated its warning against getting involved with tax protestors, noting that Canadian courts have consistently rejected these schemes.

“For those involved in tax protester schemes, the CRA will reassess income tax, calculate interest and impose penalties,” the announcement says. “In addition, upon a conviction for tax evasion, the court may impose a fine between 50% and 200% of the tax evaded and a jail term of up to five years.”

Earlier this year, the CRA issued an alert about tax schemes claiming that, “natural people” are not subject to tax laws. “Individuals who promote such views are “tax protesters” who not only fail to report their own earnings, but they also try to convince others to engage in these illegal activities,” the CRA said in the alert.

In recent years, the CRA has been cracking down on these sorts of schemes. Back in August, the agency reported that, between 2006 and 2017, 75 promoters had been convicted in connection with these kinds of schemes, resulting in $7.15 million in fines and a total of 936 months of jail time.

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