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CRA prepares to look into Vancouver real estate deals involving unreported foreign income: Hong Kong newspaper

Last Updated Jul 13, 2016 at 5:20 pm PDT

(iStock Photo)

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Those using unreported foreign income to buy property in Vancouver will soon be under more scrutiny, according to an exclusive report from the South China Morning Post.

Fifty Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) auditors are headed our way, according to documents leaked to Ian Young, the Vancouver correspondent for that newspaper.

“It’s a secret tax crackdown on real estate deals in Vancouver related to foreign money,” says Young, who notes the investigation will also look at property flipping.

According to Young’s source, these new resources will mean up to 600 audits over the next year locally.

“My source who provided this information says that they don’t think it’s enough to address the scale of the problem,” says Young. “But it’s certainly a big step up on what was being done because the same document shows that in the past year, there was only one audit on global unreported income in Vancouver, in BC That’s a shockingly low number.”

Census data from 2011 previously highlighted by Young have pointed out a disconnect between incomes and housing costs in some local neighbourhoods.

“It showed there were 25,000 households in Vancouver, where their housing costs actually exceeded their declared income,” says Young. “This is a related field. This gives a suggestion that this is unreported income that is fuelling home buying or at least home expenses here in Vancouver.”

In one slide from a secret CRA presentation shared within Young’s article, the owner of a home purchased for $5.8-million was actually claiming the “Working Income Tax Benefit,” intended to provide government support to those living on low incomes.