Your Questions Answered About The CRA’s Informant Leads (Snitch) Line

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has employed the Informant Leads Line, or “Snitch Line” for a very long time, and with incredible results. Only recently has it been getting a lot of attention in the media. The line has been so successful that the CRA (Canada Revenue Agency) is reducing their workforce – specifically related to investigations – because they get more detailed information through tipsters than they would if they had employees trying to locate this information.

Who uses this line? Still ex-wives and ex-husbands, former business partners and neighbours who have been confided in and either felt compelled to notify the government of the fraud being committed or who were hurt, harmed or cheated by the person who has been committing the fraud and who used this line as their way to ”get even”.

It is important to know should you decide to call the Canada Revenue Agency’s Informant Leads Line that that the CRA takes your privacy VERY seriously and they will never notify the person(s) / organization(s) that you call on that it was you who called their line.

The CRA will cite their “Privacy Notice”, meaning that they regularly collect personal information under the authority of the Income Tax Act (ITA) and the Excise Tax Act (ETA) and they will use that information as the justification for following up on information provided by callers to the Informant Leads Line to determine if there is an element of non-compliance with tax legislation, and if applicable provided to the corresponding compliance program for appropriate enforcement action.

Information provided on this line may also be referred to the Canada Border Service Agency (CBSA) or Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC), in the event that the lead relates to one of the programs they administer.

The information provided is voluntary and will not affect any dealings you may have with the Government of Canada / Revenue Canada.

Here are some answers to the most common questions asked of me, relating to the Canada Revenue Agency’s (CRA) Informant Leads / Snitch Line, starting with:

1) When should I call the CRA’s Informant Leads Line:

When there is “Tax Evasion”, which is an illegal practice where a person or business avoids paying taxes or reduces their taxes by misrepresenting their activities.

2) How can I report tax evasion?

Over the Internet (I have linked the CRA page and provided it here in case you’re nervous about clicking the link)

Link: http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/gncy/nvstgtns/lds/menu-eng.html#ntrnt

By phone, mail or fax

Phone: 1-866-809-6841 (toll free)

Fax: 1-888-724-4829 (toll free)

Office hours: 8:15 am. to 5:45 pm. (Eastern Time).

Mailing address:

National Leads Centre

Business Intelligence & Quality Assurance Division

Canada Revenue Agency

200 Town Centre Court Scarborough ON M1P 4Y3

3) Some examples of tax evasion are:

  • not reporting all income
  • claiming deductions for expenses that were not incurred or are not legally deductible
  • claiming false GST/HST tax credits
  • failing to remit source deductions
  • providing false information on marital status or children to obtain benefits and credits

4) What happens to the information provided to the CRA?

The CRA diarizes everything and determines if they need to take immediate enforcement action or if they need additional information before moving forward. Either way, you will never be notified as to whether or whether not the CRA took action as they are prohibited from doing so under section 241 of the ITA and section 295 of the ETA.

5) Does the CRA pay for the information I provide?

No. The CRA does not pay for information received from informants. The CRA does now have the Offshore Tax Informant Program (OTIP) which offers financial awards to individuals with information about major cases of international tax non-compliance resulting in more than $100,000 of additional federal tax being assessed and collected. For more information, please visit the OTIP website, including how to make a submission.

6) What do I get for reporting tax fraud?

Well, besides feeling great, you are helping to ensure that all Canadian taxpayers are paying their fair share of taxes and this benefits all Canadians. The CRA will tell you that if everyone pays what they owe taxes might go down… I’m not holding my breath, but you never know.

7) Will the CRA ever reveal who provided the information to them?

Never!  However, you can provide them with consent to release your identity, should you want that person(s) / organization(s) to know. The CRA has a legal obligation not to disclose the identity of informants, any information that might disclose an informant’s identity or even information that might reveal the existence of an informant is removed, even in the case where an Access to Information request is made.

8) How can you send information by email?

You can submit general informant information to the CRA using their secure Internet portal. If you want to provide supporting documentation you are best to mail or fax it.

9) Does the CRA really look at EVERY lead, and take them seriously?

YES.

10) If I submit a lead, then want to revoke it, is there a way to do that?

NO.

11) What stops someone from phoning in a fake lead?

Well, before the CRA is able to take any action, they require more information that just “My ex has a job working for cash.” They would like any or all of the following information to help them prioritize the severity of the tax evasion and whether they need to get more information or get working on it right away, such as:

  • names and contact information for the person(s) / organization(s) you suspect
  • this can include address, phone, email, and so on
  • social insurance number (SIN) / business number (BN)
  • date of birth
  • spouse’s name
  • business name
  • names of shareholders if a corporation is involved
  • related companies
  • type of fraud you suspect:
    • income tax (personal – T1 or corporate – T2)
    • provincial tax (PST)
    • GST/HST
    • non-filing
    • fraudulent refunds
    • Canada Child Tax Benefit (CCTB)
    • Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB)
  • details of your observations
  • documents: have you seen these documents? Do you know where they’re kept?
  • does the person deal in cash only? Do you know what they do with the cash?
  • net worth information, such as assets, including those outside Canada (cash, name and address of banks, house, land, cottage, vehicles, boats, etc.)
  • liabilities (loans, mortgages, credit cards, etc.)
  • personal expenditures (food, housing, trips, restaurants, hobbies, etc.)
  • your name and phone number (this is optional)

The CRA will ask you if they can contact you if they require more information. That is up to you.

If at any point, the CRA determines this information is incorrect, fabricated or provided to them for the purposes of committing fraud, not only will they indicate the details on your permanent diary record, but they will also take actions against you.

Once you have submitted a lead to the CRA, it’s good to have an understanding of the fines and/or penalties which can be levied upon the individual / organization, as they can be as high as 200% of the taxes which were attempted to have been evaded.

In addition, the CRA publishes the results of its prosecution activities on its Convictions Web page.

Of course, if you have found yourself to be in violation of any of these requirements and are worried that the CRA will find out, or that someone will call the snitch line on you, you should contact us and we can begin to discuss the steps to help you which may or may not include the CRA’s Voluntary Disclosure Program.

It is ALWAYS better to get to the CRA before they get to you!

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Author: Warren Orlans

Welcome to the blog for Intaxicating Tax Services, www.intaxicating.ca. My name is Warren Orlans and I am the owner of inTAXicating Tax Services. With over 17-years experience in the taxation industry, 11 of them working for the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), and the rest working in the private sector at large financial institutions responsible for resolving tax issues for corporations and individuals and the Canadian lead for a large US bank on FATCA implementation. My tax career began pretty much out of university at the CRA, in Collections, where I moved up, across, over and up again through their division with stops in Enforcement, Taxpayer Relief (then Fairness), Audit, Directors Liability, Training, Mentoring, GST, GST/HST, Payroll, Corporate Tax, Personal tax, and probably much more. If you have a collections, compliance or audit issue with the CRA, MRQ, IRS or with the CRTC, WSIB or any aspect of those agencies, inTAXicating is the place you need to contact. inTAXicating Tax Services has strategic partnerships which allows my team to include amazing tax lawyers, insolvency practitioners, mortgage brokers, debt counselling experts and much more. When dealing with governments, knowledge is power. We possess strong understanding of government so we know what the next step is before the government does. When you have a collections problem with the CRA, do you hire a graphic artist? No, you get a former collector who trained the staff, and who worked as a resource officer for 5 years. Then you know you are on the right track to resolving your tax problem(s). Others offer suggestions. We offer solutions! info@intaxicating.ca

7 thoughts on “Your Questions Answered About The CRA’s Informant Leads (Snitch) Line”

  1. What to do when Revenue Canada employees in the assessing department commit deliberate acts of fraud? An example of which is when a taxpayer clearly documents all deductions. Revenue Canada employees fail to disallow some deductions when the assessment was initially done. Then 6 months later taxpayer is reassessed and only then are the deductions disallowed and then interest is charged retroactively to the date of initial assessment. The taxpayer is then penalized for their error with interest.
    Even with interest of $ 1 this is large scale fraud considering that there are approximately 22 million taxpayers in Canada. They claim that these reassessments are random. I have been randomly selected multiple times over the 20 years (or deliberately targeted). If these assessment errors are done intentionally then this is fraud.
    Their provincial counterparts in Revenu Quebec are far more proactive in this regard. Any disallowed are caught at initial assessment and detailed explanations are provided in the assessment notices.

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  2. I called the snitch line on my ex wife, I was rather unimpressed…

    The general impression/feel I got was that they didn’t seem to care much? I get we’re not talking hundreds of thousands in this case, but my goal was to get an audit & reassessment done on her asap since she never paid taxes on her business (second job) and used her lower income to extort more money from me in the form of alimony/child support (10years of spousal, she’s 34 and works full time decent wage, shared custody)… That way I would have more backup for upcoming court that she’s hiding income (there’s way more too)…

    Firstly I was told it would prob take a year or so before anyone even looks at this. Secondly, I have copies of her books, clients, basically a plethora of pictures and assorted documents that detail the business & the money. I offered to email the person on the phone all this, she said she had no access to email. I asked if I could upload all the data to a file sharing site and send her the link, I was told they had no way of accessing the documentation electronically? WTF I basically have everything on a silver platter for them and they’re like meh? Can you fax it? There’s over 200 pages/photos with fine print so no…

    I ended up having to print everything and shoving it in a box and shipped it to them which cost me almost $20. I have no way of knowing if they got it, I told them it was ok to contact me for more info/clarifications no one ever did. I wanted to help them get the most facts and it just seems like they didn’t care.

    Now recently I get wind the ex closed her business and sold off everything that related to it, it’s just going to make it harder to prove what was actually going on now.

    Makes me wonder how much I could have gotten away with when I had a business had I been dirty…

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  3. I am wondering about being accused of owning a business that does not exist. How is this possible? There is no business but all the paperwork for three years worth of income sent from CRA. How does the CRA come up with a business and an amount owing? There would have to be a business name and all the other things that go along with owning a business. Tried contacting CRA but will not return call. I guess a lawyer is needed in order to straighten this mess out.

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  4. I have an ex who is paying child support payments and is in a lot of arrears and has not done his taxes in the last 3 years, how can one request to have CRA make him do him taxes. I think he does not do them because he owes so much money in arrears that child maintenance put a federal garnishment. Court order says he is to do taxes and child maintenance will not enforce him to do it.

    Thanks

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  5. With regard to child support.: It depends on jurisdictions. Some jurisdictions don’t recognize court orders from other jurisdictions. If you and your ex are outside Quebec then you can have you ex charged with contempt of court and enforce the judgement against him in any jurisdiction other than Quebec. If you for example live in Ontario and your ex lives in Quebec the court order from Ontario will not be enforced against him in Quebec. This is because of the fact Quebec does not reciprocal agreements with any one else. In order for the court order to be enforced it has to be registered in the Superior Court of Quebec. The other reason is because of 2 different legal systems in Canada, Common Law in the ROC and the Quebec Civil Code in Quebec. Incredible but true a lot of Lawyers are not aware of this legality. I actually did the research into myself and showed it to lawyer.
    With regard to your ex’s tax evasion : Contact the CRA directly I am sure that they would point you in the right directions.

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  6. I worked for Sandy Bay Education as a school teacher and paid union fees to the Manitoba Teacher’s Society. My employer issued wrong T4s and ROEs and still refuses to amend them. I have a collective agreement that dictates how much I can earn. The T4s they issued are for the wrong province and are over $10,000 above what I earned. I have been reporting this to Revenue Canada but they don’t seem to want to address the issue. Is this not illegal. It has been two years and no one will help. I even dropped off the pay stubs, bank statements, T4s, and ROEs at my local MLA and MP office. Can anyone help!

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