Financial Post | Business

From recent initiatives targeting offshore tax havens and multi-millionaire tax cheats, the Canada Revenue Agency has been cracking its disciplinary whip on middle-income operators, including waitresses, used-car salesmen, and even maple-syrup producers.

Dozens of cross-country pilot projects — including a blitz of waitresses in St. Catharines, Ont. — were ordered by the CRA to help develop techniques for eradicating the underground economy, and indicates a change in agency priority to spotlight middle-income tax avoiders, according to a Canadian tax expert.

“The big focus so far has been on high net worth projects, as well as offshore tax evasion,” said Jamie Golombek, managing director of CIBC Private Wealth Management’s tax and estate planning division.

Rather than implementing new taxation infrastructure and laws to fill its coffers, the federal government can slam tax evaders with fines and penalties, Mr. Golombek said.

“One area (government) can always go after is compliance,” Mr. Golombek said. “Why don’t we get…

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