CRA Scours the Internet to Pinpoint Audit Targets

CRA Scours the Internet to Pinpoint Audit Targets
It’s true! Not content to rely solely on tax returns and tips the CRA is now using a sophisticated web crawling program to locate potential tax evaders. And they’re not doing it alone. They’re working with tax authorities in Austria, Denmark, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom and sharing what they find.
The web crawling program, called Xenon, monitors monetary transactions on gaming sites, on-line stores, auction sites, even adult entertainment sites among many other targets.
Here’s how it work: the spiderbot lands on a web page, downloads that page, then systematically visits each page and link on the web site, downloading each of them as well. However, unlike a search engine which can hit hundreds and thousands of web sites in a second the Xenon program searches very slowly so as not to draw attention to itself.
That way the web site owner will never know that they have been ensnared by the CRA’s spiderbot tax program.
So if you’re running an on-line business or even using an on-line program such as Facebook or Linkedin it will be possible for the CRA to locate you.
Next, after the material has been extracted, the Xenon program interfaces with the CRA’s own database of information. Individuals, businesses names, street names and mailing addresses are culled and matched to national tax records. And if discrepancies are noted, you have become a potential audit target for the Canada Revenue Agency.
As well, the spider can be used to target specific business or industry types. As an example, you could be running a shop on, a site for homemade crafts and vintage items. The CRA would not only find you and your business but also have a link to all those who use your products or sell services to you.
The program can also be used to locate those who may not be charging and/or remitting the proper amounts of HST or GST. They can not only find you as an individual but they can also create a database and do an industry wide comparison to see if your remittances fall within an accepted range.
In short, the Canada Revenue Agency is using your website, web history and web postings to convict you.
Contact National Tax Service to address your concerns about your personal, proprietor or business tax fillings.