Tax evasion and tax fraud are extremely complex areas of law, simultaneously dealing with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), Criminal Code and Income Tax Act.  Beyond the financial consequences associated with income tax offences, criminal sanctions may also be imposed.

The Canada Revenue Agency also publicly discloses instances of people, corporations, and trusts convicted in the courts for tax evasion or for failing to file income tax returns when required. The information released to the media is available to the public since it is derived strictly from court records and not from confidential information held by the CRA. The CRA seeks publicity on conviction in the case of tax evasion. It does this to maintain confidence in the integrity of the self-assessment system, and to increase compliance with the law through the deterrent effect of such publicity.

The Criminal Law Group devotes a significant portion of its practice to specializing in tax related offences, representing clients in all levels of court, including provincial courts and the Tax Court of Canada. We encourage a positive working relationship with the CRA to foster trust and optimal results.

The challenge with tax related offences is that conduct which may comply with the letter of the law, may nonetheless violate the spirit or intent of the law. Our tax work includes detailed analysis of police search warrant protocol and investigative techniques. We also work closely with forensic accountants to strategically position your best defence.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Difference Between Tax Avoidance, Tax Planning and Aggressive Tax Planning?
What is the Difference Between Tax Avoidance and Tax Evasion?


What is the Difference Between Tax Avoidance, Tax Planning and Aggressive Tax Planning?

Tax avoidance and tax planning both involve tax reduction that may meet the specific wording of the relevant legislation and be completely legal. When tax planning reduces taxes inconsistent with the overall spirit of the law, the arrangements are referred to as tax avoidance. The Canada Revenue Agency’s interpretation of the term “tax avoidance” includes all unacceptable and abusive tax planning. Aggressive tax planning refers to arrangements that, albeit may be legal, push the limits of acceptable tax planning.

Tax avoidance occurs when a person undertakes transactions that contravene specific anti-avoidance provisions. Tax avoidance also includes situations where a person reduces or eliminates tax through a transaction or a series of transactions that comply with the letter of the law but violate the spirit and intent of the law.



What is the Difference Between Tax Avoidance and Tax Evasion?

Tax avoidance results when arrangements are made to minimize tax, while within the letter of the law, those actions contravene the object and spirit of the law. Tax evasion typically involves deliberately ignoring specific legislation or a part of the law. This may include under-reporting income or claiming non-deductible expenses.

We devote a significant portion of our practice to defending complex tax related allegations. Considering tax offences carry both financial and criminal consequences, we thoroughly analyze financial data and police procedure in positioning your defence.

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