Criminal investigations

The mandate of the Criminal Investigations Program is to investigate suspected cases of tax evasion, fraud and other serious violations of tax laws.

Tax fraud and evasion represent the most flagrant instances of non-compliance with tax statutes. During 2012-2013, 71 income tax and GST/HST investigations were referred to the Public Prosecution Service of Canada (PPSC) for prosecution, compared to 120 cases in the previous year.

As a result of referrals to the PPSC (current and previous years), 128 cases resulted in convictions for tax evasion or fraud in 2012-2013. The courts imposed $9.95 million in fines and 53.5 years of jail sentences.

These convictions related to revenue loss of $32.6 million. The CRA obtained convictions in 96% of cases prosecuted.

In addition, the Ministère du Revenu du Québec, acting on our behalf, referred 27 GST investigation cases for prosecution and, based on these and previous year referrals, Quebec courts convicted individuals and businesses in 58 cases, and imposed $3.1 million in fines. Quebec GST convictions related to revenue loss of $4.4 million.

Court convictions are publicized in local, regional and national media to communicate the consequences of fraud committed against the Canadian public and to maximize the deterrent effect of these convictions.

The CRA may also seek publicity at different stages of an investigation, for example when information relating to the laying of criminal charges becomes available to the public through court records, to warn Canadians of potential fraud schemes.

To view these news releases by province, please visit our Criminal investigations actions, charges, and convictions page.

For more information on the results of our compliance activities, refer to our Annual Reports to Parliament.

Related topics: