The Canada Revenue Agency Informant Leads aka “Snitch” Line

You have come to this blog for more information on the Canada Revenue Agency’s (CRA) Informant Leads or Snitch Line.  Yes, the line does exist and if you are looking for the number in order to use it, that number is 1.866.809.6841.

You may have heard me speak on CFAX1070 about the CRA Snitch line, or possibly you heard my interview on regarding the existence and use of this line.  If you have not, then let me take a moment to clear the air on this line.  The Informant Leads line does exist.  In fact, it has become such a popular tool for finding new collection sources that it’s increased volume of calls can be directly attributed to a reduction in the need for collections staff / auditors and investigators who were responsible for digging up new leads.

It is absolutely not possible for someone to call the line, make up a story and have someone investigated.  Anyone who states that does not know the purpose of this line and obviously has no experience working in the CRA.  To say that is irresponsible and fear mongering.   The CRA will act on leads but there must be some proof provided.  Simply asking for your neighbour to be audited because they drive a nicer car than you is not going to begin years or investigations-hell for them.  If, however, you purchase an item from a retail establishment, and are charged taxes, but you notice that the teller never ran the purchase through the till, then you can be assured that they are pocketing the taxes instead of remitting it to the CRA.  Or, if you notice on the receipt that they have charged you the wrong rate of tax, then you need to notify the CRA.

In one case, while I was working at the CRA, I purchased a large ticket item from a local store only to find out later that the taxes on the bill totaled 28%.  I went back to the store to ask for it to be corrected, only to have them advise me that it was a “US cash register” and that the rate was incorrect.  I took the receipt into the office hoping to launch an internal investigation but was told it would be 6-weeks before they were able to look at it.

So I walked over to a phone beside my desk, called the snitch line, explained the issue and after providing the receipt as proof, found that an investigation was launched the next day and heard through the grapevine that over $200,000.00 was recovered from the company.

That is where the snitch line can be put to good use.

If, however, you hear your neighbour bragging about how much money he makes under the table and he lives way better than you do?  You can call the snitch line.   Or if your ex-spouse is unwilling to file their outstanding tax returns because it would mean they would have to increase child support payments, then you can call the snitch line.  The CRA will take the information, begin with an internal investigation to see if there is merit, then possibly drop by the home or business to get a feel for whether an audit is required or if a net worth assessment is needed.

At the end of the day, the intention of the snitch line is to provide a direct link to the CRA’s Audit department and it assists the CRA as they use these “tips” to recover funds from professional tax avoiders.

Key words the CRA likes to hear includes;

Their names, their address, an amount of unreported income greater than, say $50K, maybe a second set of books, or 2nd property in the name of their cat…

It never hurts to call.

It always hurts to not call.

This line is anonymous and believe it or not, the majority of “tips” come from exes who are left holding the bag while their ex-spouses are living it up.

I figured I would post this since it is the most frequently asked question I get.  Yes a line exists and yes it gets acted on… and fast if the dollar amount to be recovered is high.

I have actual experience seeing this line work and I know for certain of instances where people have called this line in effort to discredit or attack someone and at the end of the day, the CRA  has investigated that person or party and punished them for making a false claim.  Those in glass houses should never throw stones.

Snitch Logo

48 thoughts on “The Canada Revenue Agency Informant Leads aka “Snitch” Line

  1. I am bothered – my brother in law always has a wad of cash, pays everything with cash, never uses a credit card. He has his own business and I know he does jobs for cash. His brother has his own business and went to jail for tax evasion. I am concerned for my sister because he will get caught eventually, it is inevitable when you buy everything with cash. I have my own business and declare everything. I like our hospitals, health care, roads, community centres. I am proud to be Canadian. I am poor by comparison, paying tons of taxes, and will never really build wealth with my business but it’s more about being home for my kids, even though I work a ton of hours a week.
    What would you recommend


  2. so you and I get to pay the taxes that your brother is not paying. I am sure he has a health card etc…. and uses it. Probably gets HST credits quarterly. You can either continue to let him rip all the other Canadian Taxpayers off or make it so he pays his fair share!!!! And have the nerve to brag about it. We should be paying for him to stay in a federal jail cell!!!! Tell your brother “thanks for ripping me off” inconsidrate bastard!!!!!!


    • Hi Sam,

      Are you sending documents to the CRA? Have you made a call to the Informant Leads line? If so, the assigned auditor will reach out to you for that information.

      If not, what forms did you want to send and to whom did you want to send them to?


  3. My ex wife has lived at a shared address with the same man for over a decade (common law) they file their income tax separately, her common law partner gives his address as being on a reserve, he does not live at, They both collect GST/HST, she has collected child tax benefit for those 10 years on 2 children, my youngest son just turned 18 in May. The reason I ask is I have always filed my taxes and paid child maintenance, but I was injured and I asked the court to adjust my maintenance payment to my actual income and she flipped saying she only made $10,000.00 last year and needs my payment, that’s when I clued in that something wasn’t right.


  4. My daughter’s Ex has paid tax on dividends earned from his employer for the last several years. His father owns the business. Now that he has walked out on his family he has signed legal divorce papers saying in them that he has never owned shares or received dividends from the company. How can this be? He had often bragged about owning shares in the company.


    • Hello Brenda,

      I’m sorry for the delay in getting back to you.

      This can be solved quite simply. If he has been receiving dividends from this family business then the family business would be required to provide him with a T5 slip. A copy of that slip is provided to him for income tax reporting purposes, and a copy of that is sent to the CRA for their record keeping purposes.

      If he is telling the court that he never received any dividends from the corporation, your daughter only needs to ask for a copy of his tax returns to be provided. If, however, he shows a return to the court without the slips, the CRA will have them on file, and if for some reason they do not exist, then the CRA would certainly be interested to know that something fishy is going on and that would certainly prompt an audit.

      Either way, it would solve this problem and put this issue to rest.

      Good luck,



  5. hi can anybody allowed to get child tax credits, hst credits and all other benefits from canada government when kids are not going to school in Canada and spouse is also with kids living in other country. what type of proofs I can give for this information


    • Hello Maria,

      The tax child tax credits are meant for parents who have children in Canada, however the HST rebate is available if you are living in Canada. You can search the CRA website ( for additional information.

      The Canadian government’s tax system relies on self-reporting so if you claim something which you are not entitled to, they may or may not catch it. If they catch it, they may or may not change you a 50% penalty in addition to asking for the money back and charging interest.

      It’s best to read the CRA website yourself to see what you qualify for, or speak to your accountant.

      Hope this helps!


      On Sun, Dec 8, 2013 at 2:12 PM, In-TAX-icating


  6. Hi there,
    My situation is a bit complicated. This is a great website and I am looking for some sage advice.
    I had left Canada temporarily in 2013 to work for a year and will be returning this year in 2014 for graduate studies. During the time that I was out of the country, I was awarded GST/HST credits for tax that I had filed for 2012, although my income for 2013 has remained below the 10,000 level. At the time, I could not declare non-residency not only because I was coming back in a year, but also because we were trying to protect a family friend whose residency requirements were still going on. I am not aware if I could have applied to school had I become a non-resident.
    At the moment, I have a couple of relatives who know of this and although they have done the same thing as well, may want to report me for claiming credits I do not deserve. I could blow the whistle on them as well,but my defense is that I am a factual resident, as I still have a bank account, a health card and residential ties in Canada and will be going back soon.
    Am I at increased risk here?


  7. I worked for a small family run business for many years. The owners wife also had a business and for the last 20 years has been receiving all her supplies that she provides services with from her husbands business at no charge. She has never paid tax on anything she has received and re sells alot of the products to customers for cash and pockets the money. He has never claimed on his taxes that he has given anything away, he just counts it as a loss of inventory. He also took $50,000 cash out of the business and put it in his personal account but didn’t pay any taxes or claim it in any way. I also know for a fact and have proof that his business taxes are fudged by the accountant ever year. Where do I go with this information?


    • Hi Teresa,

      The CRA Informant Leads line is where those details should be directed. It will likely trigger a phone call to verify receipts, then an audit of there appears to be something out of the ordinary.

      Thanks for your comment.



  8. My ex is a Cdn. citizen who has not filed a return in Canada since 1979 although he has a residence here , a bank account and health care and DL . He works as an expat in the oil industry and puts his money in offshore accounts. He also maintains Australian citizenship and his investments are all there. What laws might he be breaking?


    • Hi Pat.

      Many of them, actually.

      The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has recently announced an incentive program through their “Informant Leads” line (also known as the Snitch line). If you call the line with this information, you may be eligible for a cash reward from the Canadian government. All you need to do is Google CRA informant leads line. There is probably a toll-free version too.

      All information given to the CRA is 100% confidential and with their recent foray into offshore accounts it’s likely he would never this it was you behind it.

      Hope this helps.

      If you have more questions or need more information, feel free to reach out at any time!


  9. OK…here is one that I don not know how to deal with. My parents owned a family business for 60+ years. My Mom died last year and my brother now owns the business. For the last 15 years or so I have been doing their payroll for them.
    For more years than I have been involved there has been one employee getting use of a vehicle. The deal (made by my parents and this employee) was that he would give up 1 weeks holiday for the use of this vehicle for the year. By my calculations just using the kms driven from his home to work, and work to a nearby town this should be costing about $200. per week.
    After taking a course with CRA in 1997 I learned about Taxable Benefits and approached my mother and their ‘accountant’ who does their HST remits for them and now oversees everything, “that it was too much bother’ and ‘what CRA didn’t know would not hurt them’ respectively.
    I printed all of the information that I could get off the CRA website and gave it to my brother and told him what was happening was wrong and he should change his policies. Nothing happened.

    Situation #2 is that last year he was paying his employees on a 53 week pay period (bonuses were sometimes issued, but the decision was not made until December) and this year he decided he was going to go with a bi-weekly pay period. There are 2 employees on Salary )my son and my brother. So after the first pay of this year, I was accused of fixing by son’s pay because the hourly wage went up by about .33 per hour. I abruptly quit!!! I wrote out proof that it was the change in pay periods that had made the difference, but to no avail. So he got his ‘accountant to come in and show a receptionist how to do the payroll and they cut my son’s pay (with no explanation) back to what it was last year, effectively cutting his pay by over 700. without anything in writing.

    I am contemplating calling CRA because I know they will find much more, but because my son still works there, and they will know exactly where this came from.



    • Hi Jean,

      There is a very simple solution here. The CRA regularly performs payroll audits for compliance issues, or just to make sure the B&R’s are in proper order. Maybe it’s their time.

      If you called the Informant Leads line, and leave your concerns there, they will certainly request and audit, and what will probably happen is that the CRA will fix the mistake or adjust the records to record the new way of filing, and they send the taxable benefit out for a ruling.

      I can’t see that they would be able to trace an audit back to you as they regularly perform all the regular audit steps and include the reason for the audit in there so they would have a difficult time knowing unless you told them you would have them audited.

      Your family can also do the same based on their now reduced pay…

      Hope this helps!



  10. So, I have a family member who finally and recently separated from her abusive, alcoholic husband. He has his own business, and was always bragging about all his money and showing off his wad of cash. Now I learn that he claimed just $6000 in income for 2012 and this year he says he made $16,000! This is completely ridiculous, and he is doing tons of work under the table. He has an antique car, a truck, cube van and two trailers. he also has a cottage. He has an employee who he pays cash, and who is on social assistance without declaring his income.

    She, on the other hand, has modest wage income. We are worried that she will end up having to pay him spousal support!

    My question is this: Suppose we call the snitch line, he is investigated, and he ends up owing a bunch of back taxes and penalties. Is there a risk that she will end up being liable for half that debt? The business is in his name only, and she did not work for the business, except maybe to help him send an email once in awhile.


    • Hello George,

      Thanks for the comment.

      The only way a spouse could be held liable for a tax debt is if she was a director of the corporation (if it was incorporated), or if she was a de-facto director (he is the director but she carried on the operations).

      The only other way she could be liable is if, for example, they jointly owned an asset, like a house, and because he had a tax debt he gives her his share of the asset for less than the fair market value (like giving her his share of their house – valued at $300,000 – for $1.00). In that case, the CRA can, and will, assess her for his debts.

      It’s very common.

      If none of these situations exist, the CRA would love to hear about him, as they are really ramping up their “Net Worth Audit” program whereby they look at declared income and everything else to see where there is a discrepancy.

      Hope this helps!



  11. My ex and I are legally separated.I of course am entitled to my share of his pention.The amount was 25,ooo.oo.Acourt order was in an affect.He retired early 3 years ago,and got over 1000,000.00.He spent it all even mine.He owes revenue Canada over 68,000.00.So my lawyer made a deal 2 more years of spousal support and put a fist charge on his estate for my pention when he dies.After the fact I found out he transferred a truck worth 38,ooo.oo to his son to hide an asset,not only from me but revenue Canada.I have reported all this information to revenue Canada,because this truck could have been sold and I would have got my pention.First question will revenue Canada take my money to which by law I am entitled,and will they check what I have told them and make him sell iit for money owed to them………………………..


    • Hi Marg,

      The CRA will take it, if they choose to assess the son for the transfer and pay down the debt.

      They also look at formal orders of support.prior to making decisions, so keep on them if you are in need of any of those funds,

      Chances are slim, but you never now!


  12. my nephew and his wife lived common law for 3 years and 2 of which they had a child. He owns his own business and has faithfully filed his returns each year, but had always claimed single to allow her to use her lower income on her own returns. What he did not realize was that she was collecting huge benefits and tax breaks and did not know she was using his own parents address as her place of residence, nor did they. They are in a custody battle and he needs to discredit her ability to tell the truth. Will this adversely affect his own returns? Would he have to pay back anything, he didn’t claim her or get any tax credit because of her and their son. But she on the other hand reaped the benefits and he had no idea until now.


    • Hi Jo Jo,

      Under this scenario, I would suggest having an accountant re-run his tax return twice. Once the way it was previously filed and secondly claiming her as being married to him and see what the difference will be. That should give more than enough information to decision on to re-file / amend, or let it be.


  13. My brother rents a condo apartment to my mother at a below market rate, he claims the rent and associated expenses, my mother also claims the rent as a rent expense. This doesn’t seem right is it?


    • Hi Nancy,

      He has the expenses of maintaining the unit, however he also has to declare the income from renting it out. Your mother does get to claim the rent as an expense.

      Is there more going on?




    • Hi Marlene,

      If you are referring to the local informant leads line which is used to track down and assess individuals in Canada, then yes, it is anonymous, as the lead is written up and no mention of the person who initiated the lead is ever left with the file or added to the computer systems.

      Contact information is taken for the purpose of ensuring that the claim is valid and legitimate and not a waste of the CRA’s resources.

      I personally have used the line – while working at the CRA – to notify the CRA of businesses who were either pocketing tax, or who were charging a rate of tax far beyond the normal rate of tax and keeping the difference as it was the easiest way to get the ball rolling plus it was out of the jurisdiction of my home office.

      In one case, I left my name and contact information, and in the second case I left nothing. No name, no phone number, nothing.


  14. My ex has been living in a common law relationship for the last 2 years, but has been claiming separated in order to receive full child tax, gst\hst, UCCB, childcare subsidy benefits, is this something that should be reported as if not fair to those families that actually need those benefits.


    • Hi James,

      You could, however, these situations regularly get flushed out by the CRA and the penalties and interest they charge are quite large once they claw it back.

      The informant leads line will take calls and move forward with an audit if the expected recovery is greater than $50,000, otherwise they just make a note in the file and let the call centre of collections officer bring it up.

      Unless you have proof, such as your ex’s address being the same as their partner’s then it’s likely the CRA would not move forward on this, if at all.

      Hope that helped.




  15. Hi Warren, great site and thank you for taking your time to answer all these amazing questions.

    I want to report someone to the snitch line, I was wondering how detail and how much information does the CRA want? My report has turned into an essay with details on how the person is evading taxes and conversations between him and other people teaching them how to evade taxes. Should I go into that much detail or is it sufficient to just give names , business and just a few points on what they are doing?



  16. Hi Warren,
    Thank you for the great, informative site and the forum to ask questions. My question relates to the CRA Informants Lead lines. I have been separated for 5 years and am hoping to be divorced later this month. Last year, as I was preparing to head for trial to settle our long term marriage (which we settled out of court, a week before), it came to light that my ex-spouse had done some financial transactions unbeknownst to me during the marriage. In particular, there was a large hidden investment that he made in both our names without my signature on the investment and a clearly forged signature on the withdrawal. He quickly funneled the proceeds through a joint account and transferred almost the entire capital gain to his father just months before our legal separation date, thereby taking it out of our net family property calculations. Neither he nor his father claimed the capital gain on their tax returns. In addition, he has not claimed rental income from a property purchased in 2003 from his employment proceeds and put in my name (i was a stay at home parent with little income). His accountant advised him in 2013 that he needed to claim it, as the income was attributed to him, but his solution was to leave his accountant and prepare his own tax returns. He recently submitted his most recent tax return for annual support review, where it shows he is still not claiming the rental income and there is also an $11,000+ management fee for $500 in investment income, yet no asset disclosed in any financial statements during separation that could substantiate that kind of fee. My lawyer has sent his counsel a letter stating that he needs to re-file claiming all income.
    My questions are:
    1. Despite my not knowing about transactions during the marriage and never seeing his tax returns until after separation, am I liable for any penalties or tax he may owe?
    2. Am I legally bound to report his mis-filings? If he were audited and I didn’t report it, could I be held accountable in any way?
    3. Any other thoughts?
    Many thanks for your reply.


    • Hi Ann,

      I’m sorry that it has taken me so long to get this back to you. I hope your situation has improved and everything is in the process of being filed up to date.

      Your exposure to the CRA lies in anything that was done / or income not reported which ties to your Social Insurance Number (SIN).

      So if that property is also in your name, then you will be held liable for the debts. If, however, it is only in your soon-to-be ex-husbands name, then the best way to force him to address this right away is to call the Informant Leads line to report the people renting the property from him.

      You see if he is not reporting the income, then they are not getting receipts for their payments made to him, yet they are likely claiming the deduction. Without receipts, they will be re-assessed and in turn he will be re-assessed. They will not be happy with him (but trust me, both sides understand the consequences of their actions) and that will force him to make it right with them.

      Other than any assets in you name, it is important to consider any assets that may have been in his name or your name which were transferred during the time in which there was a tax liability because that is an easy, and common, assessment for the CRA to raise.

      Happy to answer any further questions here or at


  17. Hi , I am the worst procrastinator and have just recently filed my income tax for the past 10 years, along with that I also put in a claim for the child tax credit. To my surprise I received a letter informing me that I would need to reaapply for it ,because some one esle has been receiving it, Which really baffled me because I have been the primary care giver for my son plus my son and I have not lived in the same province as his father since 2007 I was hoping for some good advice on what I can do. The government has informed me they are only able to go back three years due to the other person being eligable and dont get involed and do not like to debit the other person account ,even though I have proof beyond a reasonable doubt that my ex has been frauding the system and has stoled over $ 27,000 from them and my son. I am truly outraged by this . That man has never paid a cent of child suport and i have never really asked , I have raised my child all by myself some times working two jobs just to get by,My son is now 19 yrs old . He gradutated for highschool on the honor roll to boot and is now paying his own way through school. so i was so hoping to receive the child tax credit back pay to give my son who truly truly deserves it. Any way I got a little off topic…Is there anything I can do at all. The person I spoke to for the child tax credit said I could file a civil suit , but will that actually get any results? I am not letting this man get away with this he has gotten away with to much already and he cross the line . so any advice will be greatly appected , I just need to know where and how to start. thank you for your time

    Thank you,

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Kelly,

      Thank you for the question. I don’t like to hear about situations like this, because, if the CRA is unable to help you, who is?!?

      To be honest, the CRA does not like to touch these because they are “make-work” projects and nobody likes to do work, especially when there is not black or white answer.

      Here is what I recommend, and what I have done for others in the same situation.

      You have filed your taxes and you applied for the child tax credit each and every year and were denied. You then go back to the CRA officer who denied you, and you tell them that you will provide all teh supporting documentation necessary to prove without a shadow of a doubt that you incurred these expenses and thus are entitled to the deduction.

      Furthermore, you don’t care how the CRA has to go about dealing with a taxpayer who has committed fraud by claiming the deduction.

      You will also keep in the back of your mind that the CRA regularly re-assess people who claimed this deduction but the CRA had doubts, or there was missing paperwork, and they do that by disallowing the deduction and sending the person a revised Notice of Assessment indicating such.

      It happens all the time, and for someone to tell you to go to court is either: new, lazy, or taking a wild guess at how the world operates.

      I would not tolerate excuses.

      If this person continues to give you a hard time, you are within your rights to ask for a new assigned officer, to speak to a Team Leader, or go through the Director of the Tax Office in question or through your Member of Parliament (MP).

      Please keep all of us posted on your progress!

      Hope this helps.



  18. Hi,

    I am wondering if the snitch line will listen to me if I am not someone directly involved in the situation. What has just been revealed in my family is that one family member has forged the signature of another family member to take out loans from the bank for over 10 years. They have opened two restaurants in this time and even after confronting said person they deny that they have forged any documents. They somehow had access to the SIN numbers of our other family member. I do not have hold of the illegal documents but would reporting this situation be of help? Also, what pieces of information would the CRA need if they were to investigate.



    • Good morning Victoria,

      The CRA only has a vested interest if there are taxes owing at the end of the day – either because of undeclared income or someone lying and cheating on their taxes.

      If you had ended your description with a comment such as; “and the person taking out the loans is hiding $250,000.00 in undeclared income from the restaurants” then the CRA would be all over this.

      Otherwise, I don’t see the CRA getting involved.



  19. I have been separated for nearly 3 years. My ex refuses to provide copies of his t4’s and I KNOW he is hiding income. Even if he provides the main income t4’s, I know that there is one he is hiding. He is hiding the income so he doesn’t have to pay the proper amount of child support. In years past, his income has gradually increased but mysteriously has been declining since the separation. It’s not a huge decrease per year ($5000-8000) but I know he is earning a lot more than he is accounting for. What steps can I take to get CRA to review his taxes? Are they able to look at bank records? Can I remain anonymous? Any help is greatly appreciated. Thank you


    • Hi Kristen,

      You do remain anonymous when you contact the Informant Leads line, however, the cases which receive priority at the CRA involve those which the CRA can assess $50,000 in undeclared / undisclosed income.

      Unless there are other hidden sources of income it is unlikely that the CRA will step in at this point.




  20. Hello,
    I suspect that a beer delivery service, & some of its Colombian drivers, are not declaring tips given to them,or the money from the many empty beer cans I give them, as part of their incomes to the CRA..
    The owner claims to be running 3 such businesses locally, & so has a fair number of drivers.
    Please advise if its worthwhile notifying the CRA, or not.


  21. Hello yet again,
    Please advise a.s.a.p. before I proceed further with my complaint against this owner & one of his drivers in particular.
    E-mail me directly at (
    R. Downie


  22. Hello,

    I was going to a tailor for some time. She runs her business from her basement for about five years already. She works for cash only and never provides receipts. So, I assume she never pays taxes. If I report her to CRA will they take any actions? Your advise would be appreciated. Thanks, Elena


    • Thanks for the comment / question.

      You would be surprised how many people work for cash (not illegal) and do not issue receipts unless asked for, yet who file their taxes in full and have supporting documentation to support their income claims.

      I guess what I’m suggesting, is do not judge a book by it’s cover…

      Let the CRA do that!

      If she lives in a $3-million dollar house and drives every fancy car available and boasts about not declaring income, then it’s a different story.

      Otherwise, it’s unlikely the CRA will get involved.


  23. My husband left me last year and is an IT government contractor. He claimed my kids on his taxes and me too even though we lived together less than half a year last year. Anyway he has money in offshore accounts that I found out about after the split I found documents. He did not claim this stuff on his taxes. He is not paying me any support payments. I am going to an attorney in a few days. I want to call the tip line on him but he already has field agents knocking on his door as he got in trouble for not paying taxes 10 years ago. Should I report the offshore stuff not sure why they agent is knocking on door…he owes 80,000 in back taxes according to him.


    • by the way my kids are from a previous marriage…we were married in 2013…one of the kids is an adult but was living at home for part of that time…I called CRA but still confused on what to do.


      • Hi Kay,

        This is a matter for the CRA to investigate and any additional information that you provide them will go a long way towards helping them determine his actual income and thus help you get a better result when you go back to court.

        Regarding the offshore income, the CRA has a separate snitch line for offshore funds and that line offers a “reward” of sorts if the information you provide net the CRA some sources for which to assess / tax / seize.

        While the threshold is high – $100,000 – I believe, a case could be made that if he has had these funds over
        a period of time, that the assessment figures will add up and eventually exceed $100,000.

        Hope this helps.



        As for the inaccurate tax filings, what you need to do is also claim them and when you are denied the claim, you will be assigned a case-worker of sorts, and when you provide them the details, they will allow the deductions for you and re-assess your ex-husband having now denied them for him.


  24. I separated from my spouse in 2015. He is self employed and has not filed or paid any taxes or CPP contributions since 2004. I tried everything to get him to do his taxes over the past 11 years, and in the end, it was the reason I chose to separate. If he is assessed and his tax debt established after my divorce is finalized, will I still be responsible for half of the debt from the years we were married even though I couldn’t make him file? If I will be held responsible, is there a way I can agree to pay half of the principal but refuse to pay half of the penalties, fees and interest since there’s nothing I could do to make him file? Can CRA seize my post-divorce assets if everything was split 50/50?
    Also, since he didn’t file taxes since our children were born, I did not receive any government child benefits. Will these be taken to pay his tax debt after he is assessed or will it be sent to me for my children?
    Thank you.


    • Hello Erin,

      I’m going to have to answer this in two different ways:

      The first way presumes that he is self-employed as a sole prop, and thus any taxes owing or refunds earned will be his responsibility only. As a sole prop, it’s as if he is operating the business in his own name, so if he has not filed in 11 years and the CRA decides to assess him (either for unfiled returns, or through a Net Worth Assessment) they do that on him only. In this instance, if your divorce is finalized and the only asset married couples usually have jointly – the principal residence – has been sold and proceeds already disbursed, then the CRA can only collect from him and any assets in his name only.

      You are not liable for his personal debts from the period in which you were married.

      The second answer takes into consideration that his was self-employed, however he operated as a corporation and in setting up this corporation you were named a director. In that case, once the returns have been filed, or when the CRA takes collection actions, they can do so against all directors – which would include you.

      There are some options / suggestions available to you in both situations – however you will likely need support if its the latter situation where there is a corporation and you are a director.

      Either way, your ex-husband needs to file his returns with the assistance of a highly skilled CA so that he can claim each and every deduction and tax credit available to himself so that he will end up paying the least amount of tax legally possible. The penalties and interest are going to be very significant.

      As for the children – you should be claiming them and you should be getting the deductions. If you have not been doing so, and wish to amend previous years’ returns, send me an email to and I’ll put you in touch with our CA who can assist you with a review of your return(s) and amending / re-filing.

      Hope this helps.




Would Love to Hear Your Thoughts

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s