First tax evasion investigation to use proceeds of crime provisions
The Canada Revenue Agency has used legislation allowing the seizure of proceeds of crime for the first time in a tax evasion investigation.
The agency has seized six rental properties and an automobile from two Ottawa residents who are accused of under-reporting income and depriving taxpayers of $523,532 in federal tax revenue.
Chi Van Ho (Ho) and Thanh Ha Thi Nguyen (Nguyen) were charged with tax evasion under the Income Tax Act for allegedly under-reporting their income totaling $3,114,100. They were arrested and released with court imposed conditions.
The criminal charges against Ho and Nguyen - the listed shareholders, directors and/or corporate officers in multiple corporations in the business of residential and commercial real estate rentals and property renovation and development - allege that, from 2008 to 2013, multiple schemes were utilized to under-report their taxable income.
The schemes included appropriating funds from multiple corporations under their control for personal purposes, appropriating corporate rental income and manipulation of supplier invoices.
Committed to act on tax evasion
The CRA says that this is one of the more serious cases it is investigating and that despite investigations taking time, it is committed to act on all serious non-compliance.
For the five-year period of April 1, 2013 to March 31, 2018, the courts have convicted 307 taxpayers. This involved $134 million in federal tax evaded and court sentences totaling approximately $37 million in court fines and 245.75 years in jail.
It is urging all Canadians to consider the Voluntary Disclosures Program which may allow a second chance to correct details provided to the CRA where a mistake or omission has been made.