Income Tax Returns Your Accountant Should Not File
You've been feeling uneasy (perhaps even guilty)
because you've failed to report your under the table business income. Perhaps
you've never filed a tax return, even though you know you owe money. Finally,
you contact an accountant to resolve the situation.
Although it is commendable that you are trying to
correct matters, hiring an accountant to do these delinquent returns could be a
big mistake. The reason why is because tax evasion is a criminal offence or
felony. You might also be subject to civil action.
Would you hire an accountant to defend you in a
criminal proceeding? Not likely. You would be wise to hire a qualified
First of all, lawyers have something called
solicitor-client privilege (also known as attorney-client privilege or legal
advice privilege). This basically means that things you tell your lawyer when
seeking legal advice are confidential and can't be used against you. Even
written records can be covered by this privilege.
On the other hand, your accountant can be compelled
to testify against you and all records in his possession can be demanded by the
Second, your lawyer can prepare a legally binding
agreement that can protect you. In return for your coming clean, the tax
authorities may agree not to charge you criminally and, in some cases, even
reduce penalties or tax liability.
If your accountant tried to do the same thing, they
could demand all information about you. Your accountant would not be protected
by solicitor-client privilege.
If, say, your accountant filed your tax return from
ten years ago on your behalf, the tax authorities could still charge you with
tax evasion, despite the fact that you are obviously trying to rectify matters
(albeit a bit late).
It is even possible that your accountant could get
into trouble for failing to report your delinquency. On the other hand, your
lawyer can't be compelled to testify against you, being protected by
solicitor-client privilege. Your lawyer may also have his own in-house
accountant in order to protect you.
Your lawyer (specializing in criminal and tax law)
will likely negotiate an agreement with the tax authorities before filing any
Therefore, if there is a good chance you could be
charged criminally for your failure to file tax returns or properly report
income or expenses, don't see your accountant. Instead, consult a lawyer
specializing in such matters before you file or amend any returns.
Income Tax Resources
- Canadian Income Tax and Financial Information
Throughout this website we have resources, tips and calculators which will
allow you to compare different scenarios. You will be able to see what a big
difference a small change in your money management decisions can make. You may
not think that this applies to you when you are young, but this is when it is
most important, because you have the luxury of time (and compounding!) on your
Rotfleisch & Samulovitch is a Toronto-based
boutique law firm specializing in tax and business law. By staying small and
specialized, we are able to respond quickly and effectively to our
clients issues and concernsas they arise. Our client list includes
individual entrepreneurs, businesses, 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.
The NETFILE transmission service is open from February 9, 2009, until September
30, 2009, for the electronic filing of your 2008 personal income tax and
benefit return. Tax returns filed via NETFILE must first be prepared using one
of the 2008 commercial tax preparation software packages or Web applications
certified for NETFILE.
Canadian Income Tax Software
Free Canadian income tax and
accounting software. Taxman prints approved tax returns for Canada.
Income Tax Preparation | Canada Tax Return
We are Canada's 100% Canadian owned and operated income tax preparation service
. We will prepare your income tax return in our offices or in your home or