i'm a canadian citizen, have always lived in canada, and have not filed a tax return in 30 years. I also have not been in anyone's 'employment' during that time. In addition the last income I did generate from any method is now ten years gone by (2006). but from 2004 to 2006 I did operate a small unregistered storefront service based business. so my question is now that myself and my parents/siblings are getting old enough to see the possibility of our inevitable passing it's been suggested I start filing returns again in order to have a record of filing before that happens (if for example my parents predecease me I will likely inherit 2-3 million dollars) does anybody have any relevant thoughts and/or suggestions as to whether this is necessary or not?

Some Additional Information

what i'm hoping to have confirmed is that any/all money earned between the time of my last filing (around 1986) and the last moment in time that I actually generated a (limited) income (Aug 2004 - Aug 2006) is far enough in the past that if I file a return for this year (and all years going forward) I won't be subject to any unnecessary scrutiny. I honestly have not needed generate an income in any capacity for what will soon be 10 years gone by (family money keeps my head well above water) and will not ever need to do so again in my lifetime. I'm just trying to decide now how far in front of things i'd like to be before the somewhat eventual day that I inherit that moderate amount of cash mentioned earlier. That date could be anywhere from 5-15-25 years from now, depending on how healthy we all remains.

  • 1
    It sounds to me like you could use some legal advice. Find a good lawyer who specializes in this. You could easily make a very expensive mistake.
    – Ben Miller
    Commented Apr 13, 2016 at 17:58
  • Here's just the first link for statue of limitations. tax911now.ca/… Also note that you've not received any benefits that would be in your interest to claim.
    – brian
    Commented Apr 13, 2016 at 18:55

2 Answers 2


You appear to just have admitted to tax evasion. You need a lawyer. There's a good chance you don't actually owe any money, but you need legal advice.

To be clear, you may well not have been obligated to file tax returns, but you have stated you had some income you didn't report, so there's really nothing else we can say other than recommend you seek legal advice.


You should talk to a tax professional in your area. It seems like you should start filing your returns. In the US there are certain income thresholds that need to be attained before a return is required, though it's often thought of as best practice to file anyway. Also in the US there are programs designed to encourage delinquent filers to begin filing again, which may include penalty/fee reduction for voluntarily filing. Somehow I suspect Canada has similar programs.

If you stand to inherit a sizable amount of money it seems that you should have a history of tax returns in order to minimize the number of questions that are asked should the money come your way.

I'd talk to a tax person before consulting an attorney. From the tone of your question the Canadian tax authority hasn't initiated anything against you. You just want to understand the best course of action regarding your tax situation.

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