What To Do If You Haven’t Filed Your Tax Returns (Voluntary Disclosure Program)
So you haven’t filed your taxes in years. What were you thinking? The stress from it must be killing you inside. But don’t worry, there’s a way out of this situation. I’m Shayan Rashid. I’m a partner at SRJ Chartered Accountants. In this video, we’re going to discuss what you need to do to get out of this mess, and the steps that you need to take to move on with your life.
The Voluntary Disclosure Program
There’s a program called the Voluntary Disclosure Program set up by the CRA, which basically will allow you to file back taxes without having to incur any penalty. I have clients who come to me all the time thinking that they’re going to owe tens of thousands of dollars, when in reality, when we prepare their returns, they actually have refunds. You can imagine how calm and relaxed they are after filing all those years of returns.
To Qualify for the Voluntary Disclosure Program
The Voluntary Disclosure Program can be complicated so make sure you get the right advice before moving forward. In order to qualify for the Voluntary Disclosure Program, there are three main conditions that you have to meet. It has to be voluntary. The CRA can’t have already contacted you in order to get your returns. Second, you have to have more than one years of outstanding taxes or returns to file. Make sure that you know exactly how many years you need to file. Third is that the information has to be substantially complete and accurate. You have to know exactly what you need to file and for how long.
Many taxpayers are concerned to give any information to the CRA, especially when they haven’t filed for many years. Luckily there’s a provision within the Voluntary Disclosure Program that allows us to file an anonymous application. This will ensure that your information is protected, and the CRA cannot get anything from you unless we give it to them. Since we do this all the time, we speak the language of the CRA. You don’t even have to be involved in the process other than providing information to us. And we’ll do all the rest of the work on your behalf with the CRA.
Once the application is approved, you have 90 days in order to submit all of the returns or documentation to the CRA. This gives us enough time to work to get everything done so that your claim can be submitted within the sufficient timeframe.
If the CRA is yet to contact you, make sure that you get the right help with this disclosure. It’s not something you want to tackle on your own. If you’re still unsure and you want some guidance, make sure you contact us and we can look at all the facts and determine the best way to move forward for you.