Report offshore tax cheating – Overview

From: Canada Revenue Agency

1. Overview

The Canada Revenue Agency's (CRA) Offshore Tax Informant Program (OTIP) allows for financial rewards to be made to individuals who provide information related to major international tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance that leads to the collection of taxes owing.

The CRA encourages anyone, no matter where they are in the world, to come forward if they have information about major international tax non-compliance.

Here are some examples of international tax non-compliance:
  • Taxpayer has business or property in Canada but does not report all his/her income from them and moves the unreported domestic income to foreign countries.
  • Taxpayer earns income (i.e. income from business or properties including investments and rental, employment or pension income, etc.) in foreign countries and does not report them in Canada.
  • Taxpayer creates and/or uses entities (i.e. trusts or corporations) in foreign countries to inappropriately reduce or avoid tax payable in Canada.
  • Taxpayer is involved in an aggressive tax avoidance or tax evasion scheme that involves offshore transactions.

This list is not exhaustive. Other situations and arrangements involving international tax non-compliance may fall within the scope of the CRA's program.

By reporting on suspected international tax non-compliance, informants are not only benefiting from the possible rewards, but contributing to the administration of a fair tax system.

If you want to report on other forms of tax non-compliance that take place in Canada, go to Report a lead on suspected tax cheating in Canada.

If you wish to voluntarily correct your tax filings before the CRA launches any compliance action, you should consider the CRA's Voluntary Disclosures Program.

Keeping an informant's identity confidential

Confidentiality is essential to the success of the CRA's reward program, so the CRA goes to great lengths to protect an informant's identity from being disclosed. The CRA has strict protocols in place for handling informant information and will protect the identity of an informant to the fullest extent possible as required by the law.

There are some circumstances, such as when the informant is required as an essential witness in a court proceeding, where it may not be possible to proceed without revealing the informant's identity. The CRA will advise the informant before it decides whether to proceed in such cases.

Confidentiality of taxpayer information

The information you provide is collected under the authority of federal tax laws, and it is protected under the confidentiality provisions of those laws, as well as by privacy laws that impose strict limits on what the CRA can disclose. The CRA may use the information you provide to make sure taxpayers meet their tax obligations.

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