Frequently asked questions

1. What is tax evasion?

Tax evasion is an illegal practice where a person or business avoids paying taxes or reduces their taxes by misrepresenting their activities. It causes significant loss in the revenue available for funding services such as health, education, and other government programs.

2. How can I report tax evasion?

You can report tax evasion by Internet, phone, mail or fax.

3. What are some examples of tax evasion?

Some examples are:

  • not reporting all income
  • claiming deductions for expenses that were not incurred or are not legally deductible
  • claiming false GST/HST tax credits
  • failing to remit source deductions
  • providing false information on marital status or children to obtain benefits and credits

4. What happens to the information I provide to the CRA?

We review the information and take the necessary compliance action. It may not always be appropriate or possible to act on the information immediately.

5. Will the CRA provide me with any feedback on the report I make?

No. The CRA does not provide any feedback and/or update on leads received or subsequent actions taken. The CRA is prohibited under section 241 of the Income Tax Act and section 295 of the Excise Tax Act from disclosing any information about a taxpayer to another.

6. Does the Informant Leads Program pay for the information I provide?

No. The Informant Leads Program does not pay for information received from informants. However, the new Offshore Tax Informant Program (OTIP) offers financial rewards to individuals who provide specific and credible information about major international tax non-compliance. Please visit the OTIP Web page for more information about the program’s criteria and how to make a submission.

7. What benefit do I get for reporting this tax fraud?

You are helping to ensure that all taxpayers are paying their fair share of taxes and this benefits all Canadians.

8. Will my identity be revealed?

No, unless you provide us with consent to release your identity. The CRA has a legal obligation not to disclose the identity of informants, any information that might disclose an informant's identity or even information that might reveal the existence of an informant.

9. Can I send information by email?

You can submit general informant information to the CRA using our secure Internet portal. However, if you wish to submit supporting documentation, you can do so by mail or fax.

10. How long will the entire process take?

There are many factors that affect the length of time that it will take us to evaluate a file and each case is different; therefore, there is not one set timeframe.

11. Is there a minimum amount of information that you look at?

No. We take all informant leads seriously and apply the same procedures to all information received.

12. What happens to the individual who commits the alleged tax evasion? What are the penalties for tax evasion? Where can I find a list of fines?

Tax evasion is a serious offence and can take many forms. The Income Tax Act and the Excise Tax Act provide the CRA with a full array of sanctions to deter and punish tax evasion. These can include fines, penalties and in some instances even jail time. The severity of the consequences of tax evasion will correspond to the nature of the offence. Fines and/or penalties can be as high as 200% of the taxes that a taxpayer attempted to evade. The CRA publishes the results of its prosecution activities on its Convictions Web page.

13. I made a report but I've changed my mind and would like to revoke my lead. Can I cancel my report?

No. Once you have provided the information to the CRA, you cannot revoke it. All informant information is reviewed to determine the validity of the allegations.

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