Revenue Minister McCallum launches the Taxpayer Alert initiative

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The following is now available on the CRA Web site:

News release

Revenue Minister McCallum launches the Taxpayer Alert initiative

Toronto, Ontario, November 14, 2005… John McCallum, Minister of National Revenue, today launched the Taxpayer Alert initiative as part of the Canada Revenue Agency’s (CRA) ongoing commitment to ensuring a level playing field for all taxpayers. The announcement was made during an appearance on CTV’s Canada AM morning television show.

“The CRA has a mandate to ensure that Canadians pay the taxes they owe and receive all the benefits they’re entitled to under the law,” said Minister McCallum. “But some taxpayers are feeling pressured or tempted to get into aggressive financial and tax arrangements without knowing all the consequences of those actions. It’s our commitment to provide those taxpayers with timely and relevant information so that they can recognize and avoid falling into schemes or scams that could put them at odds with Canada’s tax laws.”

The CRA is guided by the principle that, given the right tools and information, taxpayers will voluntarily fulfill their tax obligations. The Taxpayer Alert initiative further supports this principle by providing Canadian taxpayers with a central repository of information about such things as tax shelters, tax havens, the underground economy and enforcement activities, as well as warnings about tax avoidance and tax evasion schemes. It also alerts taxpayers to the risks they are exposed to by hiring contractors who work in the underground economy.

The initiative follows an annual investment of $30 million announced in the 2005 Federal Budget to enhance the CRA’s aggressive international tax planning activities, including the establishment of 11 Centres of Expertise.

The CRA also urges all taxpayers to always consult with a trusted and knowledgeable advisor before making any decisions that could negatively impact their financial or fiscal situation.

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