For the past couple years there have been stories circulating around the internet claiming that you don’t have to pay income taxes.
Most of these stories seem to have originated from American conspiracy theorist websites. Their basic argument is that you are in fact two people; first the “natural” person you were born as. Second; the “legal” person the government created when they issued you a social insurance number.
According to these theorists, a “natural” person does not have to pay income tax.
Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has sent out notices warning taxpayers against these schemes.
There is no such thing as a “natural” person. You need to know that Canada Revenue Agency has won every single one of their court cases against these people. As a Canadian, you do have to pay the income tax you owe.
You should also know that these “tax protesters” as they call themselves, are usually raking in the cash by inviting you to attend expensive seminars that pretend to teach you how to avoid paying taxes. They will try to sell you books, dvds and consulting services containing the same false information.
In 2012 Russell Porisky, the main Canadian proponent of this scheme, was sentenced to 4 1/2 years in jail for tax evasion and fraudulently counselling other people to do the same.
“It is difficult to set out his line of argument with cogency because it lacks logic, coherence and consistency,” the judge wrote. “Mr. Porisky’s theory not only does not bear any legal logic, but it also fails to accord with common sense. It is a failed attempt at word magic and has no validity.”
The Canadian Constitution allows the government to raise money by any “mode or system of taxation.” The penalties for tax evasion are up to 200% of the taxes owing plus up to 5 years in jail.
Even if you don’t owe any taxes, Canadians need to file a tax return in order to qualify for HST refunds and Trillium grants.