Filing Your Return -> Voluntary Disclosures Program
Voluntary Disclosures Program (VDP)
Income Tax Act s. 220(3.1)
Changes to the VDP will take effect on March 1, 2018, when a new "Limited Program" will apply to taxpayers who have intentionally avoided their tax obligations. See the December 15, 2017 news release. The new Limited Program will:
- require payment of the estimated taxes owing as a condition to qualify for the program;
- cancel relief if it is subsequently discovered that a taxpayer's application was not complete due to a misrepresentation; and
- eliminate the process for taxpayers and authorized representatives to make disclosures on a no-names basis.
Taxpayers can voluntarily correct inaccurate, incomplete, or unreported information, and do so without penalties or prosecution, if a valid disclosure is made to Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). A voluntary disclosure can be made on a no-name disclosure basis.
Disclosures can be made for the purposes of:
A valid disclosure must meet the following 4 conditions. The disclosure:
A disclosure will not be considered a voluntary disclosure if the taxpayer is aware that CRA is about to do an investigation regarding the information to be disclosed, or if CRA has already contacted the taxpayer with a request for information that would uncover the information to be disclosed.
If CRA accepts the disclosure as valid, taxes and interest will still be payable.
Making a Voluntary Disclosure
Form RC199, Taxpayer Agreement - Voluntary Disclosures Program, should be completed. It is important to use this form. The form can be submitted by the taxpayer, or by an authorized representative.
Taxpayers who are unsure whether they want to proceed with a disclosure can do their VDP on a no-name basis. This allows discussions with a VDP officer which are non-binding and general in nature, without revealing the identity of the taxpayer. Using this method, the VDP officer can confirm that there is nothing in the information provided that would immediately disqualify the taxpayer from further consideration under the VDP. However, a final determination cannot be made until the identity of the taxpayer is known and all facts related to the 4 validity conditions have been verified.
A second review may be requested by a taxpayer if they disagree with a VDP decision, and an application for a judicial review can be made. If the VDP results in an assessment or reassessment with which the taxpayer disagrees, a Notice of Objection can be filed.
CRA Resources- Voluntary Disclosures Program
- IC00-1R5, Voluntary Disclosures Program - detailed information on all aspects of the program
Tax Tip: If you think you need to do a Voluntary Disclosure, seek professional advice!
Revised: December 17, 2017
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