Dealing with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and tax problems typically is a major headache and stressful period in one’s life. Far too often, people lose sleep over not knowing their legal rights, tax laws, or other information which could put their mind at ease and let them get a decent night’s rest. Barrett Tax Law understands how stressful and disruptive a tax audit, tax bill, or being charged with a tax crime can be for people. This law firm wants to help people put their tax problems behind them and resolve them in the most appropriate manner. —
According to Mr. Barrett, “What many people do not realize is there are serious consequences if one is charged with tax evasion by the CRA. Being found guilty of tax evasion not only includes hefty penalties, but the accused could be imprisoned for up to two years. In addition, if the case involves unfiled tax returns, there is another fine ranging from $1,000 to$25,000 or more, as well as being imprisoned for up to one year.” If someone has willing participated in any of the following, they have committed tax evasion:
- Falsifying records and books
- Falsifying Documentatio
- Destroying Documentation
- Falsified Returns
- Knowingly Evaded Paying Taxes
- Conspired with Others to Commit Tax Offenses
Keep in mind, these are generalized situations and the Canadian legal system has specific language it uses to define the actual criminal offenses. It is best to consult with an experienced tax lawyer in Canada at Barrett Tax Law to have questions answered or discuss specific situations.
According to Mr. Barrett, “Some people get into trouble with the CRA because they do not understand when they must file a return. They might be retired and drawing a pension and split payments with their common law partner or spouse. The couple believes they do not have to file a return. However, under current guidelines by the CRA, the couple may actually be required to submit a return. Some of our past clients have honestly thought they did not have to file a return, only to be notified by the CRA of unfiled returns.” If in doubt about whether a return needs to be filed each tax year, it is best to contact Barrett Tax Law, rather than do nothing and run the risks of being charged with tax evasion later.
Another reason people get into trouble with the CRA is because they do not understand the difference between tax avoidance and tax evasion. Some people are confused by the terms and often equate tax avoidance with tax evasion. Tax avoidance is not illegal. Rather, it is legally paying the least amount of taxes to the CRA by using effective tax planning methods to fit with the individual or business. In other words, it is maximizing a wide variety of legal methods to reduce a person’s tax liability and tax responsibility, so they owe the CRA less money.
Another name for tax avoidance, most people know, is tax planning. Tax planning is discovering the best ways to legally pay the least amount of taxes without breaking any laws or worrying about being charged with tax criminal offenses. Barrett Tax Law offers tax planning for people throughout Canada, who want to legally pay fewer taxes using acceptable tax shelters and other such methods.
People, who are self-employed or own a small business operation, need to be concerned about being audited. The CRA frequently reviews tax returns of individuals and couples who do not receive a T4 slip because the agency can easily verify income reported on a T4 slip. More often, audits are the result of people claiming business expenses for the self-employment income or business operation. Being audited quickly becomes worrisome and stressful, especially when someone does not understand their legal rights or tax laws. Being notified of an audit or a post audit proposal letter does mean there is nothing that can be done. In both situations there are specific time lines for filing responses with the CRA.
Owing the CRA money from unpaid taxes is not the same as other creditors. The CRA has additional collection powers they may utilize to recover unpaid taxes from Canadians. The CRA could potentially seize a person’s assets, freeze bank accounts, garnish wages, place tax liens against real property, and legally intercept monies payable to the person. Further, the CRA does not have to obtain a court order for wage garnishment and has to power to initiate the garnishment without one.
Further complicating unpaid taxes is the penalties and interest added onto the original outstanding amount. The CRA compounds interest daily on unpaid or overdue tax balances. In cases where the return was filed on time, but there was an audit, and the results of audit indicate the individual or couple owe more taxes, the CRA back-dates all interest and penalties to May 1st in preceding tax year. Additionally, if a return is late or not filed, there is another penalty. Retaining the services of a professional tax law lawyer can be the difference of ending up with a rather large tax debt one cannot afford to pay easily and obtaining successful results where no further taxes are owed, or if there were mistakes, securing an acceptable payment plan with the CRA.
To learn more about Canadian tax laws visit their website at http://barretttaxlaw.com or to schedule a complimentary consultation appointment to discuss your tax situation, call their office directly at 1-877-8-TAX-TAX (1-877-882-9829) today.
About Barrett Tax Law
Barrett Tax Law provides tax advice, tax planning, and legal representation for tax audits, tax court, and tax related concerns for individuals and businesses throughout Canada. The law firm is one of the few experienced Canadian law firms to offer a free, confidential consultation appointment for tax payers, self-employed people, and small businesses dealing with tax problems and the Canada Revenue Agency. The lawyers at Barrett Tax Law work in their clients’ best interests to help them avoid personal bankruptcy or corporate bankruptcy while working out an affordable solution to their tax problems.
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