Tax Scams and the CRA

In an effort to inform everyone out there I am writing to explain how the CRA works so you will not be caught off guard or scammed by the scammers.  If you owe the CRA money and it is NOT under appeal.


  • Send you an Assessment or RE-Assessment via snail mail

  • Send you letters directly

  • Call you directly

  • Know your name and will be clear about it (no mumbling, fumbling, or ambiguity)

  • Try to garnishee your bank account

  • Try to garnishee your pay from work

  • Threaten legal action (lien against your property)

  • Have the Courts force sale of property to pay your debt.

This is the basic order that things happen.  In addition, this process takes time.  You WILL NOT wake up one morning on the street without plenty of prior notice.  Don’t Ignore the letters and phone calls from the CRA.



  • Call you out of the blue and tell you that you are about to be arrested

  • Tell you they are around the corner waiting to kick your door down

  • Ask you to send money orders or wire transfers

  • Ask you to use pay pal, Western Union, or a credit card.

  • Ask you to meet them anyplace other than in a meeting room at a CRA building

In short the CRA operates like a business.  If you are in a situation where you owe the CRA money, you will know the name and phone number of the collections officer you are dealing with, and if you ask you will know what tax office they are calling you from.  If you are at all unsure call your accountant.  Above all else follow the points above and you will be ok.

One other point I will make is that if you owe the CRA money you should know.  See the points above about what the CRA will do.  If the first time you find out that you “owe” the CRA money is from a phone call then there is a problem.  You can confirm information yourself by calling the CRA general enquiries line at 1-800-959-8281 and find out for yourself what if anything you owe and whether it is under appeal or not.

Never take anybody’s word.  Call the CRA yourself and find out.  They don’t bite and will NOT arrest you for calling them.