Beware of dishonest tax schemes that promise to reduce your taxes

As Canadians get ready to file their 2018 taxes, the Canada Revenue Agency is reminding everyone to be cautious of tax schemes. These questionable schemes often use false information and target vulnerable taxpayers like students, seniors and newcomers.

Some dishonest tax schemes can promise to reduce what you owe or convince you to pay less than what you owe. But these arrangements are often too good to be true and can lead to penalties, paying more taxes and jail time.

To protect yourself and other taxpayers who you may help file, like your kids in post-secondary school or elderly parents, always get professional, independent advice from a reputable source. Ask questions or enquire further before submitting your return.

Here are some other tips to help protect yourself:

  • Be informed about who you are dealing with at tax time and what their qualifications are.
  • Stay away from tax preparers who offer you false tax claims such as charitable donations, child care expense claims, or even business expenses or losses.
  • If you don’t understand your return, don’t be shy about asking questions.
  • Make sure the tax preparer gives you a copy of your return for your records.
  • Never sign a blank tax form.
  • Remember that even if someone else prepares your tax return, you are responsible for all the information on the return.
  • Generally, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

To make sure you have the most up-to-date information available, check out

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