CRA gives up on millions in money owed

By Melissa Shin | January 6, 2016 | Last updated on October 30, 2023
2 min read

It was a busy year in court for CRA. The revenue agency won 201 tax fraud cases, worth $106.6 million in lost tax money, in 2014-2015.

Of those, the most expensive were 142 income tax cases, which CRA says cheated the government of $99.6 million in tax revenue. That’s an average of more than $700,000 per case. CRA and all government departments report losses of public money annually in the Public Accounts.

Read: 4 ways CRA is making it easier to file returns

There were also 50 sales tax cases in court last year, worth $6.5 million in government revenues, for an average of $130,000 of lost revenue per case. CRA is also fighting nine other fraud cases, collectively worth $555,495.

Last year, CRA won court convictions in 344 cases, worth a total of $119 million. Of that, CRA recovered $2.6 million (or 2.2%) last year, and it expects to get another $3.7 million (or 3.1%) this year. But the agency has already written off $6.2 million it doesn’t expect to ever collect, mostly from cases related to GST/HST fraud.

CRA is also owed millions from 33 cases that go back to 2001. The agency had already collected $99.5 million, or 35%, out of $286 million awarded in judgments. In 2014-2015, it recovered a further $2.6 million from these cases. It expects to collect a further $23.4 million in later years, but it’s already written off $159,576,675.

Read: CRA announces Q1 interest rates

The tax agency is also collecting debts from misbehaving employees. An employee charged more than $7,000 in unauthorized spending to his or her corporate card last year, but has since paid it back. There are two other unresolved credit card cases, one from 2005 and another from 2008, where corporate cards were used to pay for personal items worth a total of nearly $11,000. They’re still paying the tax agency back in installments, a couple of hundred dollars at a time. Still other employees, found to have made fraudulent pay and benefit claims, are collectively paying back more than $100,000.

CRA had other bad luck in 2014-2015: seven cases of equipment theft and three cases of vandals damaging department cars set it back more than $5,000. An employee who used an unauthorized taxi chit cost another $15.

Read: Essential tax numbers: 2016 update

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Melissa Shin

Melissa is the editorial director of and leads Newcom Media Inc.’s group of financial publications. She has been with the team since 2011 and been recognized by PMAC and CFA Society Toronto for her reporting. Reach her at You may also call or text 416-847-8038 to provide a confidential tip.