Authorities probe possible tax evasion on new sales

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The Canada Revenue Agency confirmed that it is currently in the process of probing and auditing sales of new homes for possible tax evasion, according to an investigative report by The Globe and Mail.
The development came in the wake of a previous report that discovered several instances of brand-new homes in Metro Vancouver being sold as “owner-occupied”, which would make the sale price cheaper as such a transaction would not require the buyer to pay the requisite goods and services tax (GST). The practice has been cited as one of the main drivers of the continuous price increases in the region.
Other pressing issues that Canadian housing authorities are planning to address include undeclared income or capital gains, especially among property owners who evade investment taxes by stating that their purchases are their principal residences.
In line with these developments, the British Columbian government said that it would be improving the collection of data concerning real estate transactions, with the results to be forwarded to the Canada Revenue Agency.
Finance Minister Mike de Jong noted that the regulatory changes are necessary to create a mechanism that would ensure that all the parties involved in every transaction report their tax-related information accurately.
“All of that needs to happen. To the degree that we can enhance enforcement process by governments sharing information that assists in enforcement, we should be exploring that,” de Jong said.

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