Voluntary Disclosures Program Sees Huge Increase in 2009

According to an article in the March 18, 2010 Globe and Mail, the Voluntary Disclosure Program has been an unexpected source of revenue for the Canadian Government. In the 2009 fiscal year, nearly $600 million in taxes were reported through the Voluntary Disclosure Program. According to a lawyer quoted in the article, the increase can partially be attributed to scare tactics employed by CRA.

Although the article doesn’t cite how much of that $600 million was actually remitted to CRA, the value for CRA of not having to chase taxpayers and take enforcement actions should not be overlooked. The cost savings that CRA receives with every voluntary disclosure is unknown, but it is not insignificant given that CRA receives thousands of voluntary disclosure applications each year. Therefore, the Voluntary Disclosure Program impact on the Canadian Government`s bottom line each year is more than the previously unreported tax.