Most, if not all of us, have received a call from someone claiming to be from CRA. They may threaten arrest or other such actions if a tax bill is not immediately paid via iTunes or Bitcoin, for example. While some of these calls have become easier to identify as fraudulent, scamming techniques and systems constantly evolve. The impact of fraud so far this year (as of September 30,2021-reported on the antifraudcentre.ca website), there have been 56,577 Canadian reports of fraud, and 39,740 Canadian victims, for a total of $163 million lost to fraud.
CRA has released a number of tax tips on their website on how to recognize a scam, how to protect yourself from identity theft, and what to do it you were scammed. CRA also discusses why a taxpayer might be contacted by CRA, when to be suspicious, and how to report potential scams. Click Here
Some signs indicating that the caller may be a scammer include:
• they do not provide proof of CRA employment (such as a name and an office location);
• they pressure you to act immediately;
• they ask you to pay with gift cards, cryptocurrency or some other unusual manner;
• they ask for information not normally included on your tax return or not related to amounts owed CRA, such as a credit card number; and
• they recommend you apply for benefits and ask for related information.
To verify a caller is a CRA employee, CRA recommends that an individual:
• tell the caller that they first want to verify their identity;
• ask for, and note the caller’s name, phone number, and office location;
• call the CRA phone number from the official CRA website to confirm that the call was legitimate; and
• call the CRA employee back.
To report a scam, go to antifraudcentre.ca or call 1-888-495-8501.
If you suspect a CRA call is from a scammer, and are uncertain how to respond, whether or not it sounds legitimate, reach out to your tax advisor at MAM CPA for assistance.
The preceding information is for educational purposes only. As it is impossible to include all situations, circumstances and exceptions in an article such as this, a further review should be done by a qualified tax professional.
No individual or organization involved in either the preparation or distribution of this article accepts any contractual, tortious, or any other form of liability for its contents.
If you have any questions related to a rental property you own or are considering investing in,
please reach out to your tax advisor at MAM CPA.