Real estate tax cheats face "concrete action" says revenue minister

The national revenue minister has issued a firm warning to those who do not pay the correct taxes on real estate transactions.

Diane Lebouthillier spoke Thursday as details of the Canada Revenue Agency’s audit of the real estate sector in British Columbia and Ontario was revealed.

In 2017-2018, the CRA assessed $102.6 million more in additional taxes than in 2016-2017. Penalties increased by $19.2 million from one year to the next.

During the past three years, CRA auditors reviewed over 30,000 files in Ontario and British Columbia, resulting in over $43.7 million in penalties.

"For many hard-working middle class Canadians, buying a first home represents a great accomplishment. Most taxpayers follow the rules and it is essential that those who choose to ignore the laws face the consequences. The results we announce today demonstrate our government's commitment to taking concrete action against those who break the rules," Ms. Lebouthillier said.

The issues identified by the CRA audit include developers/builders not collecting and remitting the GST/HST to the CRA when they sell, rent out for the first time, or appropriate the property for personal use; buyers breaking the rules on new housing rebates; and incorrect tax payments when flipping homes.

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