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 CBC.ca 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.