On August 7, 2017, TEI submitted comments to the Canada Revenue Agency ("CRA") regarding the proposed changes to the Voluntary Disclosures Program ("VDP") outlined in Draft Information Circular – 1C00-1R6 – Voluntary Disclosures Program ("Draft Circular") and Draft GST/HST Memorandum 16.5 – Voluntary Disclosures Program ("Draft Memorandum"). The Draft Circular and Draft Memorandum, if finalized, would substantially limit the relief available to sophisticated taxpayers under both the income tax and GST/HST VDPs. The Draft Circular would also exclude corporations with gross revenues in excess of $250 million from the income tax VDP altogether. Our comments stressed that any limitation on relief under the VDPs should be based upon a taxpayer’s inappropriate conduct rather than its size or sophistication, and that the final versions of the Draft Circular and Draft Memorandum should focus on situations or circumstances in which the CRA does not wish to provide interest and penalty relief—rather than discriminating against specific groups of taxpayers.
TEI's comments were jointly prepared under the aegises of the Institute’s Canadian Income Tax Committee and Canadian Commodity Tax Committee. Watson M. McLeish and Pilar Mata, Tax Counsels for the Institute, coordinated the preparation of TEI's comments.