Canada Revenue Agency Targets $39.5 Million From Crypto Tax Evaders

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has ramped up its efforts by initiating nearly 400 audits in a significant move to clamp down on crypto tax evasion. 

These actions underscore a determined pursuit to recover approximately $39.5 million in suspected unpaid taxes, revealing a broader strategy to tighten compliance in the crypto market.

Canada Revenue Agency Targets $39.5 Million From Crypto Tax Evaders

Canada Pursues Crypto Tax Evaders

According to Sahil Behal, Director General at the CRA’s compliance branch, the agency is actively conducting these audits. Still, it acknowledges the pressing need for enhanced public education on crypto tax obligations. This initiative is part of a broader response to ensure all taxable crypto transactions are accurately transparent.

Amid these efforts, veteran tax lawyer David Rotfleisch criticizes the CRA’s current measures as merely a “drop in the bucket.” He suggests that many Canadians will remain unaware of their tax responsibilities without substantial increases in taxpayer education about crypto.

Rotfleisch points to his experiences with clients who have faced significant tax issues related to multimillion-dollar crypto transactions to indicate the widespread lack of understanding.

Canada has faced criticism in the past for its perceived lenient approach towards larger tax evasion cases. Despite securing convictions in instances, critics argue that the agency needs to tackle tax evasion and avoidance schemes.

In response to evolving challenges, Canada is set to implement the Crypto-Asset Reporting Framework (CARF) by 2026. On its website, the CRA emphasizes that half of capital gains from cryptocurrencies must be entered on the tax return.

“If the disposition of a crypto-asset (e.g. trade/exchange) was capital, and the proceeds of the disposition are more than your adjusted cost base, then you have realized a capital gain and this must be reported,” the website reads.

Moreover, the CRA uses data obtained through legal mandates to identify and address non-compliance. For example, following a Federal Court order, Toronto-based crypto exchange Coinsquare had to submit detailed client transaction data.

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