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March 2008 Archives

March 20, 2008

Winning doesn't cost you!

In a news release on its web site, the Canada Revenue Agency reminds Canadians about scams involving sweepstakes and lotters. Winners of sweepstakes and lotteries in Canada DO NOT have to pay fees and taxes in order to claim their prizes.

"The CRA has issued warnings in the past about scams in which individuals are informed they have won a large sum of money in a lottery or sweepstakes, usually from a foreign country. The individual is usually contacted by a legitimate-sounding financial institution claiming that it has a bank draft from a foreign sweepstakes company that is payable to him or her. The individual is told that, in order to receive the prize, they must first pay part of the taxes allegedly owed on the prize amount."

According to the CRA, no taxes or fees of any kind have to be paid on lottery or sweepstakes winnings in Canada. "Any unsolicited email, letter or telephone call telling you otherwise is a scam", they warn.

For more information on this news release or further information on frauds and scams involving lotteries, sweepstakes, and related winnings, please see:

Posted by Editorial Team [permalink]

March 20, 2008

Tax tip: It pays to get fit!

The Canada Revenue Agency has provided the following tax tip on its web site to remind Canadians of the $500 fitness credit for children.

Did you know...

That for 2007, you may be able to claim the fees paid for physical fitness programs for your children under the age of 16 at the beginning of the year? The children's fitness tax credit provides parents with an annual credit of up to $500 per child to help cover the cost of their child's physical fitness programs or sporting activities fees. Under proposed legislation, if the child qualifies for the disability amount and is under the age of 18 at the beginning of the year, you may be able to claim an additional $500 credit.

For more information on this tax credit for 2007, visit

Posted by Editorial Team [permalink]

March 9, 2008

Newfoundland and Labrador businessman's tax scheme nets house arrest; heavy fine

The Canada Revenue Agency has issued a news release indicating that a Newfoundland and Labrador businessman and engineer has been fined more than $488,000 and sentenced to four months of house arrest after the individual was convicted on charges of tax evasion in St. John's Provincial Court.

A CRA investigation revealed that the individual deliberately hid income by incorporating his company and depositing income in offshore bank accounts in a "tax haven" jurisdictionand that he also failed to collect, remit, and file any GST/HST returns.

The news release serves as a reminder to Canadians of the potential for still penalties for tax avoidance and evasion schemes.

For more information, please see the CRA web site:

Posted by Editorial Team [permalink]

March 6, 2008

10th Annual Teddies Waste Awards

Taxpayers Honour Senator Lavigne, former Quebec Lieutenant Governor Thibault, former Toronto Catholic School Board Trustee Nunziata, and The Canadian Tax Code

OTTAWA: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) held its tenth annual Teddies Waste Awards Ceremony to honour the best of the worst in government spending and high taxation at a black tie news conference today on Parliament Hill. CTF Ontario Director Kevin Gaudet acted as master of ceremonies. Also on hand was “Porky the Waste Hater” and Samantha, both of whom assisted in this year’s ceremony.

The Teddies are named for Ted Weatherill, a former senior public servant, who was terminated in 1999 for “expenses incurred by him … incompatible with his position as Chairman of the Canada Labour Relations Board,” according to the Office of the Minister of Labour. In the spirit of the entertainment awards season, Teddies are awarded annually to a government, public office holder, civil servant, department or agency that most exemplifies government waste, overspending, over-taxation, excessive regulation, lack of accountability, or any combination of the five.

“Sadly, 2007 has been yet another blockbuster year for government waste,” said Mr. Gaudet. “Politicians and public officials must realize that hardworking Canadians will not tolerate those who use tax dollars to live the high life. Our Teddies are an appropriate way to give them the recognition they so richly deserve.

A longer detailed list of all 11 nominees and the winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award may be found by clicking here:

The 2008 Teddy winners are:

Federal Award Winner:

“And the federal Teddy goes to Senator Raymond Lavigne for ‘Achievement in Use of Extras’ Senator Lavigne had a staffer cut down trees on his neighbour’s property in West Quebec. This is the second year in a row a Senator wins the federal Teddy. Because of investigations stemming from the tree chopping, Senator Lavigne has been ordered to repay $23,500 for travel, been charged with fraud, breach of trust, and obstruction of justice and was punted from the Liberal caucus. He is a walking billboard for Senate reform,” said Gaudet.

Provincial Award Winner:

“And the provincial Teddy goes to Quebec’s former Lieutenant Governor Lise Thibault for ‘Achievement in Tax Dollar Mis-direction’. Her lavish spending would make even an Arab Sheik blush. $700,000 of spending is being questioned by all parties in Quebec and now the police. Her abuses include:

$825 for a suite at the Ritz-Carleton in Montreal;
$59,000 for a garden party;
$4,000 for a family member’s birthday party;
$2,800 for two meals in Quebec City;
$45,000 in reimbursements for gifts with no list of recipients provided;
$2,400 for a 5-night stay at the Mont-Tremblant ski resort; and
$12,000 for taking a Quebec government plane on a fishing trip and a tour of a provincial park.

Taxpayers are safer now that she is out of the job”, commented Gaudet.

Municipal Award Winner:

“And the municipal Teddy goes to former Toronto Catholic School Board Trustee Christine Nunziata for ‘Being Entitled to Her Entitlements.’ For years she has brought wasteful spending to a whole new level with reports of numerous abuses of public money including charging taxpayers for vacations in Cuba and the Dominican Republic (where she got married), daily coffees from Tim Horton’s, lingerie, $12,000 in meals in one year and much more. Taxpayers are now on the hook for the costs of her by-election after she was kicked off the board for having missed too many meetings,” said Gaudet.

Lifetime Achievement Teddy:

Gaudet announced, “And the Lifetime Achievement Teddy goes to the Canadian Tax Code for having grown from 11 pages in 1917 to 2,226 pages 91 years later. The head of the Canada Revenue Agency brags that he has an army of 46,000 people and an annual budget of $4 billion to enforce the Tax Code. What was meant to be a temporary war tax measure is now ridiculously high and immensely complicated. Think of all the trees simplifying the tax code would save us. Even David Suzuki might come on board in support of lower, simpler, and flatter taxes.”

John Williamson
Federal Director
Canadian Taxpayers Federation

Posted by John Williamson, Canadian Taxpayers Federation [permalink]

March 3, 2008

Protect yourself against identity theft

As part of its involvement in Fraud Prevention Month, the Canada Revenue Agency has provided a news release encouraging Canadians to protect themselves against identity theft.

“The CRA considers the protection of taxpayer information our top priority” said Minister O'Connor. “March is Fraud Prevention Month in Canada. It is an important reminder that we all need to take precautions to protect our personal information, including keeping access codes private and choosing your tax preparer or other professionals carefully before sharing your confidential information.”

For more information on Fraud Prevention Month and the CRA's activities in protecting your information, visit the CRA web site and the related news release:

Posted by Editorial Team [permalink]

Income earned abroad is taxable

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has provided a tax alert on its web site reminding Canadian taxpayers that they must report their worldwide income from all sources, both inside and outside Canada.

The tax alert warns Canadians about tax havens for the purpose of tax avoidance and evasion -- and the serious consequences for not reporting income.

Did you know that under Foreign property ownership reporting rules you have to report foreign property with a total cost of more than $100,000 CDN on your tax filing.

For more information on this tax alert, see:

Posted by Editorial Team [permalink]

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