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Reminder - Many Scam Artists Masquerading as the CRA 

Canadian Tax Adviser


March 11, 2014


Clients often ask us to confirm their suspicions that an e-mail that appears to be sent by the CRA is bogus. These fake requests are almost always sent by e-mail and ask the recipient to transmit personal information, including banking information, via e-mail or by visiting a specific Internet address. This practice is commonly known as "phishing".

If you get this type of e-mail, please refer to the CRA's guidelines on e-mail scams, "Beware of fraudulent communications" (including examples), available on the CRA site.


CRA tips on indentifying Internet scams
In "Beware of fraudulent communications", the CRA reminds taxpayers that its policy is that it will not request personal information of any kind from a taxpayer by e-mail. Thus, if a taxpayer receives an e-mail that appears to be from the CRA but requests social insurance, credit card, bank account, site passwords and passport numbers, it is a fraudulent communication.


Since phishing e-mails often feature subject lines intended to scare or excite the recipient, such as "Possible tax evasion fraud!" or "Claim your refund!", affected taxpayer may become concerned and contact their tax advisers about the validity of the request.


The CRA advises recipients to ask themselves:


  • Am I expecting additional money from the CRA?
  • Does this sound too good to be true?
  • Is the requester asking for information I would not include with my tax return?
  • Is the requester asking for information I know the CRA already has on file for me?
  • How did the requester get my e-mail address?
  • Am I confident I know who is asking for the information?


As these Internet scams are increasingly sophisticated in the way they mimic trustworthy entities, the best defense for recipients is to continue to exercise their healthy skepticism about whether any unsolicited e-mail is genuine.


CRA fighting fraudsters
The CRA says it is very concerned about this ongoing illegal activity, and aggressively works with Public Safety Canada to decommission scam sites once they are discovered. In addition, the CRA has posted notifications about specific phishing scams that are currently circulating under "Announcements" on the home page of its external site.


For more information, contact your KPMG adviser.






Information is current to March 11, 2014. The information contained in this publication is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavour to provide accurate and timely information, there can be no guarantee that such information is accurate as of the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future. No one should act upon such information without appropriate professional advice after a thorough examination of the particular situation. For more information, contact KPMG's National Tax Centre at 416.777.8500