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Rotfeisch & Samulovitch is a Toronto-based boutique Law firm specializing in tax & business law

By staying small and specialized, we are able to respond quickly and effectively to our ‘clients’ issues and concerns - as they arise, Our client list includes individual enterpreneures, business as well as large, public institutions.

We are justifiably proud of our enviable track record of providing in depth knowledge and proactive hands- on - solutions for all of our clients.

On CRA Tax Amnesty-Voluntary Disclosure
What constitutes an enforcement action
The Federal Court of Canada released a judicial review application which provides some guidance on the question of what constitutes an enforcement action under the voluntary disclosure programme (VD).
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Information about Canadians with offshore accounts
Canada has just signed an agreement with Switzerland that would free more financial records after years of applying pressure to provide information about Canadians with offshore accounts who may be tax evaders.
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The CRA (Canadian tax department) has obtained a list of Canadians who have offshore bank accounts with HSBC in Switzerland from a former HSBC computer employee who has provided information to French and Italian tax authorities.
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Our Experience

David J. Rotfleisch, C.A., LL.B. practices as a Tax and Business Lawyer, which guarantees solicitor-client privilege and absolute confidentiality, but also has his chartered accountant designation. He has 30 years of professional experience and deals with voluntary disclosures on a daily basis.He deals with each file and personally reviews all tax returns before submitting them to CRA.

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Benefits of a Voluntary Disclosure (VDP) in Canada

The benefits of filing a Voluntary Disclosure (VDP) or Tax Amnesty application are: 

  • No prosecution

  • No penalties

  • Confidentiality

  • Interest reduction


CRA does not prosecute VDP applicants

There is no sinister "tax man" or "tax police" in dark glasses waiting to pounce on you and throw you in jail for tax evasion or not filing tax returns if you do a VDP applicaiton. CRA does not prosecute VDP applicants. The purpose of the Canada tax amnesty program is to encourage Canadian taxpayers to voluntarily comply with their income tax obligations. Prosecution would be contrary to the goals of the VD program and contrary to the published guidelines (binding on CRA) that make it clear there will be no prosecution. The latest published statistics shows that for 2008-2009 CRA referred 164 income tax and GST/HST investigations to the Public Prosecution Service of Canada. During this same time period there were over 11,000 voluntary disclosures submitted. These prosecutions were for taxpayers who were caught evading taxes, or who were sent requests and demands to file tax returns and ignored the demands. The prosecutions are NOT as a result of submitted VDP applications.



  • Formal written retainer to ensure privilege and confidentiality

  • Voluntary Disclosure application submitted with basic information as soon as possible

  • We formally retain accountant on your behalf to maintain privilege

  • 90 days to submit detailed information; apply for time extension if needed


Conditions to be met for Canadian Voluntary Disclosure or Canadian Tax Amnesty

To qualify under the program, you  must initiate the voluntary disclosure or Canada tax amnesty application. If CRA has begun audit or enforcement action, or has demanded that returns be filed, the disclosure is not considered to be voluntary and full penalties will be applied.  A computer generated request for a return may not always disqualify you from benefiting from the program.

The disclosure must include enough details to allow all of the facts to be verified.

The taxpayer must pay the total amount of any taxes and interest owing at the time of disclosure, or make acceptable payment arrangements.


Incomplete income tax Voluntary Disclosure

If the disclosure is incomplete, the disclosed information will be considered to be voluntary. However, the taxpayer will be subject to civil penalties or prosecution relating to any substantial undisclosed amounts. You are only required to make your reasonable best efforts to supply all necessary information


Conditions for a valid income tax Voluntary Disclosure

  • CRA determines that the disclosure is voluntary;

  • CRA determines that the disclosure is complete;

  • The disclosure involves a penalty; and

  • The disclosure must include information that is:

(i) at least one year past due, or

(ii) if less than one year past due, not initiated simply to avoid the late filing or instalment penalties.


Timing of Tax Voluntary Disclosure

A voluntary disclosure (tax amnesty application) is effective from the time the we contact CRA on your behalf, even if detailed submissions are not made at that time. Therefore, for example, a taxpayer who has not filed tax returns for several years need not have them ready when first contacting CRA. Normally 90 days are provided to submit all necessary information. Extensions of time are usually granted for valid reasons such as difficulty in compiling the necessary information. The initial contact will be considered to be the date of the voluntary disclosure. The rules for a no-names disclosure are slightly different


Unfiled Tax Returns

A taxpayer who makes a voluntary disclosure or tax amnesty Canada application and voluntarily files unfiled returns will only be required to pay the tax owing on the reported income with interest. No late filing penalty will be charged.



Unreported Income

Where a taxpayer has failed to report income, including a failure to report foreign income including foreign pensions such as UK pensions or unreported offshore income or unreported online income (including unreported ebay income) and voluntarily reports it, only the tax owing on the unreported income plus interest on it will be charged. The same is true where improper expenses have been claimed.


No-Names Disclosure

CRA allows us to approach them on your behalf without revealing your name to negotiate the terms of your voluntary disclosure. We have 60 days from the time we make the no-names disclosure to reveal your name. Once your identification is provided to them they will review their files to see if you qualify for the program. The no-names disclosure is sometimes helpful, and we use it in appropriate circumstances