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What the CRA Said

Streamlining Access to CRA Services: A Look at the New Document Verification Option

The CRA is making it easier to access its digital services

The Canada Revenue Agency’s New Identity Verification Process

On April 11, 2024, the CRA announced a significant update designed to simplify access to its digital services, including My Account, My Business Account, and Represent a client. This update introduces a new document verification service that allows individuals and business representatives to use a government-issued photo ID, such as a passport or driver’s license, to quickly validate their identity. This means immediate access to online accounts, bypassing the traditional wait for a security code via mail—a process that could extend up to 10 business days.

Benefits of the New Service

The digital services offered by the CRA are pivotal for efficient tax management, enabling users to update personal information, register for direct deposit, check for uncashed cheques, and much more. By enhancing the registration process, the CRA aims to reduce the reliance on phone calls and minimize delays, particularly during the hectic tax season.

Eligibility and Security

To utilize this new feature, users must be at least 16 years old and possess a camera-enabled mobile device for taking a photo of their ID. Only specific types of ID are currently accepted, including Canadian passports, driver’s licenses, and provincial/territorial ID cards. Additionally, users will need to provide their Social Insurance Number, date of birth, and information from their most recent tax return. It’s important to note that the CRA emphasizes the security of this process, ensuring the protection of personal information.

The Need for Efficiency

While this new initiative is a step in the right direction, it’s crucial to address the historical inefficiencies of the CRA’s systems. Previously, the requirement to wait for a security code by mail was not only inconvenient but often unreasonable, especially for time-sensitive matters. This update hopefully marks the beginning of more efficient, user-friendly processes that can accommodate the fast-paced needs of modern taxpayers, including families with family-owned businesses.

Navigating Toward a More Efficient Future

The CRA’s commitment to improving access to its digital services is commendable. This new option is expected to encourage more Canadians to engage with digital platforms for their tax and benefit needs, potentially transforming the way we handle tax affairs. As we move forward, it will be imperative for tax professionals and lawyers to stay updated on these changes, ensuring that they can guide their clients effectively toward their financial ambitions.

For families running enterprises in Canada, this development could be a significant time-saver, allowing them to focus more on growth and less on administrative hurdles. As your tax advisor, I am here to navigate you through these changes, ensuring that your journey towardyour financial goals is as smooth and efficient as possible.

Tell Us Your Ambitions, and We Will Guide You There

Understanding these new tools and how they can benefit your business is just the beginning. Let’s discuss how we can leverage the latest CRA enhancements for your family enterprise. Contact me today for a comprehensive consultation tailored to your unique needs and ambitions.

Warning: The Consequences of Tax Fraud

Alberta man convicted for tax fraud: Misleading Individual Tax Returns

In a recent case from Calgary, Alberta, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has highlighted the serious consequences of tax fraud. Sean Nethercott of De Winton, Alberta, faced the law for his dishonest actions in handling his tax affairs. On March 7, 2024, Nethercott was sentenced to a conditional sentence of 12 months and fined $50,000 after pleading guilty to making false or deceptive statements on his T1 Individual Tax Returns for the years 2014 to 2016.

The investigation by the CRA uncovered that Nethercott significantly understated his taxable income and claimed false losses, expenses, and deductions, attempting to evade nearly $52,000 in taxes and to illegitimately gain about $28,637 in tax credits. This case serves as a stern reminder that tax evasion is not only unethical but also a crime that carries hefty penalties including fines, potential jail time, and a criminal record. Such actions undermine the integrity of tax systems and affect the quality of services and programs that benefit all Canadians.

The CRA is committed to ensuring the fairness of Canada’s tax system by holding accountable those who seek to evade their tax obligations. It continues to aggressively pursue cases of tax evasion and false claims using all available tools. Convicted taxpayers are required not only to pay the imposed fines but also the full amount of tax due, plus interest and any penalties.

The Importance of Honesty in Tax Filing

This case underscores the importance of honest and accurate tax filing. Individuals and businesses are encouraged to report all income earned and claim only those benefits to which they are legitimately entitled. Misreporting income or claiming undue benefits can lead to serious legal consequences and financial penalties.

Why Professional Guidance Matters

For those who are unsure about their tax filing, consulting with a professional, such as a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA), is strongly advised. A CPA can provide expert guidance on tax matters, ensuring compliance with tax laws and preventing inadvertent or intentional misstatements on tax returns. Engaging a professional can help avoid the risks associated with incorrect tax filing and the severe repercussions that can follow.

As tax professionals, we are here to assist and guide you through the complexities of tax regulations, helping you fulfill your obligations while maximizing your entitled benefits legally and ethically. Remember, it’s always better to seek professional advice than to face the consequences of errors or deceit in your tax affairs.

Urgent Warning: The Dangers of Engaging in Fraudulent Tax Schemes

Fugitive Brampton tax preparer caught and jailed for $34 million fraudulent charitable donation scheme

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has recently issued a warning following the conviction of Festus Bayden, a Brampton tax preparer involved in a significant fraudulent charitable donation scheme. On February 27, 2024, Bayden was sentenced to three years in jail for committing fraud over $5,000, as adjudicated by the Ontario Court of Justice in Brampton.

The Case Details

Bayden, who operated under E & F Tax Associates and Bankay Financial Services Inc., orchestrated a scheme that involved claiming over $34 million in false charitable donations on behalf of his clients for the tax years 2004 to 2006. He deceived his clients by suggesting they could receive substantial tax refunds or reductions by making charitable donations significantly less than the amounts claimed on their returns. To substantiate these claims, Bayden provided fraudulent donation receipts from various charities with which he was affiliated. For these services, he charged his clients about 10% of the falsely claimed donation amounts.

The Consequences of Tax Fraud

Bayden’s actions not only led to his imprisonment but also highlighted the broader implications of tax fraud. Those involved in or facilitating such schemes not only risk severe legal penalties but also contribute to undermining the integrity of Canada’s tax system. This affects the equitable distribution and availability of resources and services that depend on tax revenues, impacting the social and economic well-being of all Canadians.

The Role of Tax Promoters in Fraud

The CRA emphasizes that tax promoters, like Bayden, who actively promote and sell schemes that contravene Canadian tax laws, play a critical role in tax evasion. These individuals or corporations make false statements to help clients avoid or evade taxes, deriving financial benefits from the fees charged. The CRA is committed to maintaining fairness in the tax system by holding both the promoters of these schemes and their clients accountable.

Importance of Ethical Tax Filing

This case serves as a stark reminder of the importance of ethical tax practices. Individuals and businesses must ensure that all income is reported accurately and only legitimate claims are made on tax returns. Engaging in or facilitating fraudulent activities can lead to significant repercussions, including fines, jail time, and the obligation to repay any undue benefits received, along with potential additional penalties.

Seeking Professional Help

If you are unsure about the legitimacy of any tax-saving strategies or the preparation of your tax returns, it is advisable to consult with a professional, such as a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA). Professionals can provide guidance that aligns with legal standards, helping you avoid the pitfalls of fraudulent schemes while ensuring compliance with tax laws.

Remember, engaging in fraudulent activities or working with unscrupulous tax preparers can have severe consequences. Always strive for honesty and integrity in your tax filings and seek expert advice if needed to navigate the complexities of tax laws effectively.

This information is for discussion purposes only and should not be considered professional advice. There is no guarantee or warrant of information on this site and it should be noted that rules and laws change regularly. You should consult a professional before considering implementing or taking any action based on information on this site. Call our team for a consultation before taking any action. ©2024 Shajani CPA.

Shajani CPA is a CPA Calgary, Edmonton and Red Deer firm and provides Accountant, Bookkeeping, Tax Advice and Tax Planning service.



Nizam Shajani, Partner, LLM, CPA, CA, TEP, MBA

I enjoy formulating plans that help my clients meet their objectives. It's this sense of pride in service that facilitates client success which forms the culture of Shajani CPA.

Shajani Professional Accountants has offices in Calgary, Edmonton and Red Deer, Alberta. We’re here to support you in all of your personal and business tax and other accounting needs.