The Voluntary Disclosure Program of the CRA allows those who have made mistakes in prior tax returns to advise the CRA and fix their mistakes without penalties. The advantage of doing so is that if the Voluntary Disclosure is acceptable to the CRA, no penalties will be payable. Indeed, the penalties can, in fact, be quite severe and therefore the Disclosure Program quite valuable.
While much of the work is done by accountants to ensure that the tax returns filed as part of the program are accurate, lawyers are required to protect the solicitor-client privilege. Often times, the returns which are filed have information which could lead to potential criminal consequences for non-filing or filing an inaccurate return. By retaining lawyers to conduct the Voluntary Disclosure itself, the information imparted to accountants and lawyers can be protected and your professional advisors not required to testify against you in a criminal proceeding.
Drache Aptowitzer LLP lawyers work hard to ensure that the cost of the Voluntary Disclosure is kept low and that our role is limited to advice and the protection of the privileged information.