190 O'Connor Street, Suite 200

Ottawa, Ontario K2P 2R3

+1 (613) 422-1155

24/7 Call for Support

Mon - Fri: 9:00 - 17:30

By Appointment Only

Tax Evasion

What is Tax Evasion?

Tax evasion encompasses a number of activities aimed at avoiding taxes, such as failing to file a tax return, making false statements on a tax return or failing to remit taxes you have collected on behalf of the government, such as HST.

Unlike most criminal offences, the provisions dealing with tax evasion do not appear in the Criminal Code, but rather in the Income Tax Act and the Excise Tax Act.  However, as the charges are criminal in nature, criminal procedure and penalties apply, as do Charter protections.

If you are being investigated for tax evasion, you should contact an experienced criminal defence lawyer immediately so that he or she can contact the Canada Revenue Agency on your behalf and begin gathering information to defend your case.

What is the Potential Sentence if you are Convicted of Tax Evasion?

If you are convicted of failing to file a tax return, you will receive a minimum fine of $1,000.  The maximum fine is $25,000.  You could also receive up to a year in jail.

If you are convicted of:

  • making false or deceptive statement in a tax return,
  • destroying or hiding records in order to avoid payment of tax,
  • making false or deceptive statements in records, or
  • evading compliance with the Income Tax Act in any other way,

you will receive a fine of at least 50% of the amount of tax that was being sought to be evaded, and you could receive a jail term of up to five years.

If you claim or receive a tax refund or credit that you are not entitled to by reason of:

  • making false or deceptive statement in a tax return,
  • destroying or hiding records, or
  • making false or deceptive statements in records,

you will receive a fine of at least 50% of the amount that was wrongfully claimed, and you could receive a jail term of up to five years.

If you fail to pay, collect or remit taxes as required by the Excise Tax Act, you could receive a fine of $1,000 plus 20% of the amount of tax that should have been paid, collected or remitted.  You could also receive a jail term of up to six months.

In addition to receiving a fine and a potential jail sentence, a conviction for tax evasion can severely damage your reputation, as the Canada Revenue Agency publicizes convictions to deter others.

How can DUVADIE Law Defend you against Tax Evasion Charges?

If you are under investigation for tax evasion, DUVADIE Law will contact the Canada Revenue Agency on your behalf and negotiate to have the matter treated as a civil rather than a criminal matter.

If you are charged, there a number of ways to defend your case.  In order to obtain a criminal conviction the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you intended to evade paying your taxes.  We can mount a strong challenge of the prosecutor’s evidence and suggest that your actions demonstrated mere carelessness, rather than wilful behaviour, and thus a conviction is not appropriate.

As search warrants are often executed in tax evasion cases, another method of defending against these charges is to challenge the validity of the search warrant.  If the warrant is found to be unreasonable or if the search and seizure has been carried out in an unreasonable manner, DUVADIE Law can argue that any evidence that has been gathered should be inadmissible at trial.  Please see our Search and Seizure page for more information.

If you are facing a tax evasion charge, please call DUVADIE Law at 613-422-1155 or Toll-Free at 1-855-422-1155 to set up your free 30 minute consultation. 

Page last updated Sep 21, 2018 @ 22:43

Contact Us
close slider