Minister Lebouthillier shares with Canadians the latest results of cracking down on tax cheats

News Release

September 7, 2017        Ottawa        Canada Revenue Agency

Canadians work hard to support their families and to pay their taxes. They also expect their Government to work hard on their behalf to ensure a tax system that is responsive, fair and where everyone pays their share. This is why the Government of Canada is taking important steps to combat tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance, funded by historic investments of close to $1 billion in Budget 2016 and 2017.  

With such an important investment comes a responsibility to report back transparently to Canadians on results. The Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of National Revenue, provided an update on the progress the Government has made in addressing the recommendations made by the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance (FINA) and the actions taken by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) on this front. Specifically, the CRA has released preliminary results on the important work it has done to crack down on tax cheating. These results are now available on the Agency’s website and will be updated to ensure Canadians are apprised of the CRA’s efforts.

In its report last fall, FINA reiterated the importance of transparency in the CRA’s Efforts to Combat Tax Avoidance and Tax Evasion, recommending that the Agency more openly and proactively share program results with Canadians. Providing Canadians with these results will inform the public of the concrete action being taken by the Government to crack down on tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance, show them the serious consequences of tax cheating and help deter those who may consider participating in this behavior.  

Highlights of the preliminary results shared by the CRA, from April 1, 2016 through March 31, 2017, include:

•    335 cases referred for criminal investigations
•    123 search warrants executed
•    32 criminal charges laid under the Income Tax Act, Excise Tax Act and/or the Criminal Code
•    37 convictions
•    $10 million in court fines and 50.6 years of jail time
•    111,712 audits completed
•    $12.5B in fiscal impact

The investments made through Budgets 2016 and 2017 have provided the CRA with the means to develop tools and hire additional tax experts to more effectively combat tax evasion both at home and abroad. The Agency is now better positioned than ever before to detect, audit, and combat illegal tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance.

Through actions like these, the Government continues to show its commitment to ensuring that those who promote or participate in tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance face the full consequences of the law.


“Hard-working Canadians who pay their fair share of taxes expect our Government to do its part to crack down on tax cheating and to make public our results. Today, I send a strong signal to all Canadians, that we are delivering on our investments and that the noose is tightening for those who break the law. Together we are building a stronger and fairer tax system, and one where those who don’t play by the rules, face the consequences.”

-The Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of National Revenue

Quick Facts

  • In June 2017, the CRA launched a series of webpages dedicated to the informing Canadians of the consequences of tax cheating and to raise awareness of different tax schemes that promoters may be marketing.

Associated Links


John Power
Office of the Minister of National Revenue

Media Relations
Canada Revenue Agency

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