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December 18, 2015

Penalties Waived with the CRA Voluntary Disclosure Program

Written by: Dagmar Zanic, CPA, CA

Concerned you might not have filed all your tax returns/forms correctly? Missed any prior years’ tax filings?

The Voluntary Disclosure Program (VDP) of Canada Revenue Agency might help alleviate those sleepless nights. VDP gives you the opportunity to confess your sins and correct any inadvertent errors or compliance oversights using a voluntary disclosure form. 

With the CRA Voluntary Disclosure and Compliance Program you can file up to 10 years of tax returns/tax forms, or make corrections to previous tax filings, and have penalties waived! Often, penalties and interest on unfiled tax returns/forms can amount to more than the related tax liability. If the CRA accepts your VDP application, you will be required to pay the taxes owing – but Canada Revenue Agency will waive all penalties and possibly even apply reduced interest charges.  

To be valid, your Voluntary Disclosure form must satisfy certain conditions: 

  • All disclosures must be voluntary 
  • Penalties must apply 
  • The information must be complete, and 
  • The tax return or form must be at least one year overdue

Also, and importantly, the disclosure cannot be a repeated submission. You only have one chance to make it right! 

Note: If you have any concerns that your Voluntary Disclosure Program application might not be accepted, you can submit an anonymous voluntary disclosure form, referred to as a “no-name” disclosure.

Manning Elliott’s certified tax specialists have assisted many clients with successful VDP applications through the CRA’s Voluntary Disclosure and Compliance Program. Ask us about VDP for offshore accounts.

Get peace of mind with regard to all of your tax filings.  

Dagmar Zanic, CPA, CA is a Senior Tax Manager and member of Manning Elliott’s tax team. She advises our individual and corporate clients on a wide range of income tax planning and tax compliance matters. To contact Dagmar, feel free to call her at 604-714-3640 or email her at

The above content is believed to be accurate as of the date of posting. Tax laws are complex and are subject to frequent changes. Professional advice should be sought before implementing any tax planning. Manning Elliott LLP cannot accept any liability for the tax consequences that may result from acting based on the information contained therein.