Warning: Don’t participate in tax schemes

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is advising Canadians to steer clear of tax schemes this tax season.

What are tax schemes?

Tax schemes are plans and arrangements that attempt to deceive taxpayers by promising to reduce the taxes they owe, for example through large deductions or promises of tax free income. Schemes can also include other creative ways to convince people to pay less taxes.

Be careful—here are some common elements of tax schemes:

  • They are positioned as financial products or business opportunities
  • They are advertised (internet, social media, newspapers, fliers sent to households)
  • There is often a sales pitch (free info session, paid seminar, webinars)
  • They promise tax savings which often include large returns on small investments
  • A portion of the anticipated tax refund is the promoter’s fee

A good rule of thumb – if something sounds too good to be true, it most likely is.

What can you do to protect yourself and other taxpayers from tax schemes?

  • Get professional, independent advice when needed, especially if a deal seems too good to be true
  • If you have participated willingly in a scheme, come to us to correct your tax affairs through our Voluntary Disclosures Program before we come to you.
  • Help ensure tax fairness for all Canadians by reporting a lead to the CRA

For more information on tax schemes, please visit Canada.ca/tax-schemes.

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Contacts

Media Relations
Canada Revenue Agency
613-948-8366
cra-arc.media@cra-arc.gc.ca

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