No, the CRA does not send tax refunds through Interac
The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has posted on their website that they will revoke the registration of ACTLAP Children’s Foundation (A.C.F.), a charity based in North York, Ontario, effective July 9, 2016. The notice of revocation has been published in the Canada Gazette.
On May 3, 2016 the CRA issued a notice of intention to revoke the registration of the ACTLAP Children’s Foundation (A.C.F.) as a charity, in accordance with subsection 168(1) of the Income Tax Act (The Act). The letter stated, in part, that:
“The audit by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has revealed that the Organization operated primarily for the non-charitable purpose of furthering a tax shelter donation arrangement, the Pharma Gifts International Inc. program. The Organization agreed to accept alleged gifts of property from participants and to act as a receipting agent for this donation arrangement. For the period of June 16, 2012 to June 15, 2014, the Organization improperly issued receipts totalling over $64 million for purported donations of cash and pharmaceuticals, which were not legitimate gifts. Of the $1,724,814 in cash contributions it received, the Organization paid $1,289,385 to the promoters of the tax shelter. Of the $62,315,818 million [sic] worth of tax receipts issued for the gifts of pharmaceuticals, the CRA determined that the Organization significantly over-reported the value of the alleged property, resulting in grossly inflated tax receipts to participants.
The audit has shown that the Organization has failed to comply with several requirements set out in the Act. In particular, the Organization issued donation receipts for transactions that did not qualify as gifts, issued receipts otherwise than in accordance with the Act and its Regulations, did not devote all its resources to charitable activities and failed to maintain proper books and records. For all of these reasons, and for each reason alone, it is the position of the CRA that the Organization no longer meets the requirements necessary for charitable registration and should be revoked in the manner described in subsection 168(1) of the Act.”
Registered charities perform valuable work in our communities, and Canadians support this work in many ways. The CRA regulates these organizations through the Act and is committed to ensuring that they operate in compliance with the law. When a registered charity is found not to comply with its legal obligations, the CRA may revoke its registration under the Act.
Registered charities receive generous tax incentives under the Act including the ability to issue official donation receipts. To maintain this privilege, charities must continue to meet all the requirements of the Act.
The CRA is committed to preserving the integrity of Canada’s tax system.
The CRA audits every gifting tax shelter that offers official donation receipts in excess of the value of any property donated.
The CRA has also repeatedly warned Canadians of the consequences of participating in abusive tax shelters that it holds to be non-compliant with the Act.
There is a substantial amount of information on the CRA’s website and the CRA has published information, including warnings about tax shelters and donating wisely, in a variety of newspapers, magazines and various other media sources.
For more information, go to Tax shelters and Donor Beware, a special report from the Office of the Taxpayers’ Ombudsman.
An organization that has had its registration as a charity revoked can no longer issue donation receipts for income tax purposes and is no longer a qualified donee under the Act. The organization is no longer exempt from income tax, unless it qualifies as a non-profit organization, and it may be subject to a tax equal to the full value of its remaining assets.
For more information about the registration of Canadian charities or to find out more about a registered charity, go to the CRA’s Charities and Giving webpage.
Quick Facts on charities:
• As of March 31, 2016, there were 86,191 registered charities across Canada.
• Canada’s approximately 86,000 registered charities issued receipts worth more than $15.7 billion in 2014.
• In the 2015-16 fiscal year (April 1 to March 31), the CRA’s Charities Directorate completed 726 audits of registered charities chosen using a variety of methods – including random selection, follow-up on possible non-compliance or complaints, and based on a review of annual information returns. During that same period, 20 charities had their registered status revoked by the CRA as a result of an audit.
• As of March 31st, 2015, the CRA reassessed more than 195,000 taxpayer returns, denying in excess of $6.6 billion in donation claims mostly due to tax shelter gifting arrangements.
• A copy of the Notice of Intention to Revoke and other letters relating to the grounds for revocation are available to the public on request, in the language in which they were originally written, by going to Request for registered charity information.
Canada Revenue Charities Listings: http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/chrts-gvng/lstngs/menu-eng.html
Charities Media Kit: http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/chrts-gvng/md-kt/menu-eng.html
To receive updates when new information is added to the CRA website, you can:
• Follow the CRA on Twitter – @CanRevAgency.
• Subscribe to a CRA electronic mailing list.
• Add the CRA’s RSS feeds to your feed reader.
• You can also watch the CRA’s tax-related videos on YouTube.
In a nutshell, this charity received $1,724,814 in cash contributions.
It paid $1,289,385 of that money to the promoters of the tax shelter who were bringing in the people to donate.
This charity issued donation receipts totalling $62,315,818 million dollars.
It failed to keep adequate books and records.
It failed to devote 100% of its efforts to charitable work.
As a result, any of the taxpayers who have filed their tax returns claiming any of the donation deductions from this charity should hope that the CRA offers them a deal to accept the money donated on a dollar for dollar basis, or they should use the Voluntary Disclosure Program to amend their returns! (Just not the current year return).
Note: Please use common sense when making a donation! If you make a $100 donation and receive a donation receipt for anything more than that amount understand that the CRA will deny it… eventually.
The best way to avoid being scammed by a fake CRA caller.
If they start raising their voice, threatening you, or tell you that you are going to be arrested, or that the government is going to seize your house, or car, and especially if they tell you that they are going to take away your children.
Just hang up.
If you receive an email from a scammer but it looks legitimate, check the return email address. Government email addresses end with “.gc.ca”, oh, and if claims to be from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), you should be aware that the CRA employees are they’re not supposed to and not allowed to email outside the office.
If you’re not sure, don’t buy into the threats, and certainly do not give them any information at all.
As a former Canada Revenue Agency Business Collections employee – almost 11-years – from collector to Resource Officer and Manager, I understand the fear people have when they receive calls from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).
I also understand how scary it is when someone calls you, or leaves a recorded message for you, claiming to be from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), and demanding payment with threats of jail or immediate legal actions. I’ve been called as have many of my clients.
With a little knowledge and understanding of the CRA and the people who work there, I am going to list 10 signs that every Canadian needs to be made aware of in order to not be caught up in this scheme.
10 Facts Every Canadian NEEDS to Know About the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)
10. Yelling and Screaming are NOT permitted, nor tolerated.
Regardless of what you have heard or experienced, the people who work in the Canada Revenue Agency are everyday people like you and I. If we yelled and screamed at our “client base” we would be disciplined or fired. They are no different.
9. Threats are NOT allowed.
The staff at the CRA will not threaten you with jail time, to send in the Sheriff, have you deported or to take every penny that you have. Even is the call is not a scam you do not have to tolerate any threats from anyone at the CRA.
If you have been evading the paying of taxes, you already know that you could be charged and that jail time is possible. Any other type of collection action usually comes with pre-warning by a letter, Notice of Assessment or is started once you file / pay your taxes.
The CRA will not seize your principal residence! Your cottage, rental properties, maybe, but house you and your kids live in… No.
8. The Element of Surprise
If the call catches you by surprise, AND the person on the end of the phone is screaming at you, threatening to take your
7. Ask Questions.
In the instance you get a live person on the phone and they are trying to give you a hard time and force you to pay money, turn the conversation back to them and ask lots of questions. Ask them what the account number / social insurance number is, what periods or years the debt relates to (the debt they want you to pay). Ask them for a break-down of the total tax owing and the amount of penalties and interest – either the total amount or broken down by period or year. (They have this at their finger tips). Ask them what Tax Office they are calling from, and what the address and phone number is at that office. Ask them to send you a remittance voucher so that you can make that payment at the bank.
Tell them that while you would love to speak to them, you have an accountant who handles all your tax information and you would like to take down their information so your representative can call them back.
5. Do NOT Agree to Pay anything over the phone!
This rule applies not only to the CRA but to anyone else who ever calls your home / phone asking for money. Never, ever make a payment over the phone with your credit card.
4. Receipt Please!
If you are self-employed, you understand the importance of getting and keeping receipts. Why would you buy a pre-paid gift card or charge card to send to some stranger who is not going to give you a receipt for payment?
The CRA has recently allowed payment of some taxes by credit / debit card. They will likely NEVER accept payment via gift cards, etc.
3. If you get such a call, hang up and report it to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre
The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre can be found online at http://www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca or toll free at 1-888-495-8501.
If you believe you may be the victim of fraud or have given personal or financial information unwittingly, contact your local police service.
2. Confirm, Confirm, Confirm.
If you want to confirm the authenticity of a CRA telephone number, call the CRA by using the numbers on its Telephone numbers page. The number for business-related calls is 1-800-959-5525. The number for calls about individual concerns is 1-800-959-8281
1. The CRA NEVER…
Requests prepaid credit cards;
Asks for information about your passport, health card, or driver’s licence;
Leaves personal information on your answering machine!
Asks you to leave a message containing your personal information on an answering machine.
Emails seeking information or asking for payment.
So when in doubt, ask yourself the following questions:
Is there a reason that the CRA may be calling?
Do I have a tax balance outstanding?
Is the requester asking for information I would not include with my tax return?
Is the requester asking for information I know the CRA already has on file for me?
Are they too mean / demanding / aggressive?
It’s always better to defer the conversation than make the mistake of giving information or money to criminals.
Another example of how a Ponzi scheme can result in a long-prison sentence and huge fine.
Unfortunately, the “victims” here are the people who took part in this scheme because they still owe taxes plus gross negligence penalties (50%) plus the CRA and the Courts have long considered people who partake in these scams and schemes to have done so knowingly and with full understanding they they are illegal.