CRA reports that Damien Reynolds, a 49-year-old dual citizen of Canada and Australia, was charged on April 4, 2017, with fraud under section 380 of the Criminal Code and with tax evasion under section 327 of the Excise Tax Act. Reynolds is a mining industry consultant and stock promoter based in Vancouver.

Read: Montréal man gets 18-month jail sentence over tax fraud

The criminal charges laid against Reynolds allege that, from 2004 to 2012, through the use of offshore companies located in the British Virgin Islands and Ireland, he over-claimed capital losses and under-reported income to falsely reduce his tax payable by millions of dollars. The alleged schemes include under-reporting of his personal income, falsely claiming non-resident status, claiming false losses and evading payment of GST/HST.

The CRA Criminal Investigations program now focuses on sophisticated taxpayers and promoters of schemes. Evidence can be obtained through the execution of search warrants, issuance of production orders and numerous witness interviews, says CRA in a release.

Read: Uncollected tax tally could be $50 billion: report

When taxpayers are convicted of income tax evasion, they must still repay the full amount of taxes owing, plus interest and any civil penalties that may be assessed by CRA. In addition, the court may fine them up to 200% of the taxes evaded and impose a jail term of up to five years. A jail term of up to 14 years may be imposed for convictions under section 380(1)(a) of the Criminal Code.

Through its Voluntary Disclosures Program, CRA allows taxpayers to correct previous tax returns or file a return that should have previously been filed. If a taxpayer makes a valid disclosure before becoming aware that CRA is taking action, the taxpayer may only have to pay the taxes owing plus interest.

Also read: CRA may be watching clients’ social media

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