Information on the Bulgarian Data Breach – August 7, 2019

Backgrounder

Following the recent data breach at the Bulgarian National Revenue Agency (BNRA), the BNRA confirmed with the CRA that a small number of Canadian taxpayers with financial accounts in Bulgaria and Bulgarian taxpayers with financial accounts in Canada have been impacted. We can reassure Canadians that the Canada Revenue Agency’s systems have not been compromised.

The Agency has taken immediate steps to confirm the identity of taxpayers affected and is notifying them in writing. The CRA will not be initiating direct contact with any affected taxpayers by telephone.

The majority of information in question was gathered by Bulgarian financial institutions, and provided to the BNRA under a global initiative called the Common Reporting Standard (CRS). Over 100 jurisdictions around the globe are currently committed to this initiative to increase tax transparency and combat offshore tax evasion. As a precautionary measure, until further notice, the BNRA has voluntarily suspended exchanges under CRS.

Canada is committed to strong international partnerships as part of its ongoing efforts to ensure a fair tax system for all. Implemented in Canada in 2017, the CRS is part of an array of efficient tools and approaches the CRA is using to combat tax evasion and promote voluntary compliance with tax laws.

The CRA will continue its work with international partners to safeguard the confidentiality of taxpayer information, while at the same time promoting tax transparency in the fight against international tax avoidance and evasion.

Taxpayers with financial ties to Bulgaria who are concerned that their information may have been compromised as a result of this breach can contact us at 1-800-959-8281 (for individuals) or 1-800-959-5525 (for businesses and self-employed individuals) and consult How to protect yourself from identity theft for general guidance.

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