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CRA launches 'snitch line' to weed out fraud in COVID-19 relief programs

Last Updated Jun 2, 2020 at 6:14 am PDT

The Canada Revenue Agency headquarters in Ottawa is shown on Friday, November 4, 2011. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

The CRA has launched a 'leads' program aimed at identifying fraud in its COVID-19 relief programs

Canadians can now submit information about possible instances of fraud connected to programs online

CRA has already warned all of the cash given out will be scrutinized on next year's tax returns

OTTAWA – A move by the Canada Revenue Agency aimed to stamp out fraud in Ottawa’s multiple emergency COVID-19 relief programs may raise some eyebrows.

The agency wants to hear about any instances of fraud connected to the programs, but it’s turning to you to help figure out who is being dishonest.

The CRA website is now including a national “leads” program, a so-called snitch line, accepting information about double-dipping on the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, the Canada Emergency Student Benefit, and the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy.

“The CRA uses the information in your lead to make sure the tax system is fair for all Canadians,” the website reads, adding, “Your lead could also boost the actions the CRA is already taking to fight cheating.”

The agency is looking for examples of applicants not declaring all income, someone perhaps setting up a fake business to claim losses, or someone taking cash “under the table.” A full list can be found here.

Anyone who submits a lead will remain anonymous, and the CRA says you won’t be asked to disclose any personal information about yourself while reporting.

Service Canada officials have flagged at least 200,000 possible so-called double-dippers so far. The CRA has already warned that all of the cash given out will be scrutinized on next year’s tax returns.