I recently had the “opportunity” to watch a video from a “Freemen” or “Detaxer” as they would be referred to by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).
I’m not going to lie… It made me cringe.
I was immediately brought back to my time spent working for the CRA, and more specifically, to the time spent working with these folks. You see, the CRA knows there are corporations and individuals who evade and avoid taxes, and a lot of time and effort is spent to find and prosecute these entities.
They CRA is also very aware of a large groups of individuals who see themselves as “natural individuals” and thus free from “illegal taxation”. They consider themselves to be free on the land, and make some story about being “corporations” and that they have 2 names, one legal and one given to them and they conveniently use the one that doesn’t require them to pay taxes.
To make a long story short, these groups use Canadian infrastructure – buildings, roads, power, etc., yet see themselves as sovereign and thus free from taxation. They have been known to hold info-sessions and sell “tax-free” cards to the attendees – who try to use them only to find the RCMP at their door and their cards seized.
The problem with this view, is the fact that there have been MANY court cases dealing with this matter and in each and every case, the CRA has won. There is ZERO precedent for this view to have an ounce of legitimacy, no matter which “brilliant” person is trying to convince you or me otherwise.
I’m sorry to say, if you follow these views, you are just asking for trouble with the CRA, and that trouble comes in the form of late filing penalties, interest, gross negligence penalties (50% of the tax owing), assessments, prosecution, and potential jail time.
It’s a scam, so please, do yourself a favour and stay away. It’s in your best interests to avoid this type of theory.
Having worked in the CRA’s collections department for over 10-years, and having deal with these cases for many of those years, I can say with experience, and certainty that what ultimately happens is property seizures, frozen bank accounts, seized funds, wage garnishments and all that pressure applied together until there was no choice but to file and pay, often having to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in penalties and interest.
Learning about these cases makes me sad, and wish that someone had taken the time to speak to the victims of this scam and answer questions so they know that it never ever ends well or in their favour.
It’s a lose-lose proposition.
Already in trouble?
File your returns, notify the CRA you’re coming clean. Make payment arrangements for your debts. Doing this now, before the CRA gets to you can help you with an application for Taxpayer Relief.