I mean without any search warrants or court orders.

I ask because for the 2018 tax year, my brother in Grade 12 earned a total income of $500 CAD from only interest. The bank issued a T5 statement online.

Does he truly need to spend time and amount reporting this paltry amount?

  • 3
    Just to clarify, are you asking us whether you'll get caught if you deliberately neglect to report it? The question in the body could be read as either "will I get caught?" or "am I legally obligated to report this?" (very different implications) but the question in the title certainly implies the former is your intent, since it appears to be seeking ways in which you might get caught. I don't think anyone here will condone intentional tax fraud, so perhaps you'd be better off rephrasing this to focus on how much money you're legally required to report, or something. – Steve-O Apr 10 '19 at 13:33
  • @Steve-O "am I legally obligated to report this?" – P L Apr 11 '19 at 1:39

A few key points:

(1) Don't try to justify to yourself not reporting income to the CRA. If you have an obligation, file it, whether or not you expect to be caught for failure to file.

(2) If the bank issues a T5 to you, they also issue one to the CRA. This isn't an issue of the CRA 'looking into your bank account', the bank has an obligation to provide income slips to both you and the CRA simultaneously. Failure to report amounts that the CRA has on file is the most surefire way to get audited.

(3) If your brother's only income is $500, he will not owe taxes in the year - the current non-refundable tax credit [the amount you can earn each year tax free] is above $10k.

(4) Your brother does not need to file a tax return, from the information you've presented, based on the CRA's official stance: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/tax/individuals/topics/about-your-tax-return/you-have-file-a-return.html - [basically, he owes no taxes, among other things]. However if this were $500 from employment income, he should report anyway, because he will earn RRSP contribution room based on his earned income.

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