SAM FARIS President FARIS CPA
There are few things more stressful, harrowing and daunting than receiving a letter (or a phone call) from the Canada Revenue Agency telling you that you’re being audited or that you owe them money.
Sam Faris has successfully used his finely-honed tax and accounting skills to assist clients with tax disputes, accounting advice, and preparing financial statements.
But ideally, he wants to help you avoid the problems before they
Since 2003, Sam has assisted scores of individuals and corporations with accounting services, helping clients throughout Canada.
As a Chartered Professional Accountant, he’s been a trusted advisor providing professional services to a wide range of industries.
In a recent case he touts, a client received approximately $900,000
in refunds from the CRA, after a successful fight with CRA – a
refund that the previous accountant had missed. In another case,
the client had approximately $250,000 of what CRA claimed was
unreported income, which Sam reduced to zero.
“Normally what people don’t understand is they think that if they
don’t get audited it means their accountant did a good job,” he says.
“But when they do get audited, they discover the accountant
made mistakes, and they realize the accountant did not do a good
job, and they’re in the hole.”
That’s where Sam comes in.
“There are times when people have bad accountants
who have made errors, lack knowledge, and after being audited
the clients realize they need me to come and fix things, and help
them throughout the audit with CRA.”
Among the various corporate tax services he provides
are preparing corporate tax returns, appeals to audit assessments,
and negotiating with the Canada Revenue Agency on behalf of clients.
“There are times I handle the accounting cycle from A to
Z for certain corporate clients,” he said.
Personal tax accountant services include optimizing
various personal tax credit claims and deductions, negotiating
with the Canada Revenue Agency on the client’s behalf, and
representing them in government audits.
Sam and his team can help you correct your tax affairs and he fully understands the CRA Voluntary Disclosure program – one of his specialties.
The Voluntary Disclosure Program is where the client
comes forward on their own to fix any omissions in a tax filing.
By doing so, the CRA will waive interest and penalties and not
prosecute provided that the taxpayer approaches the CRA before
they start an audit.
Examples of this include unreported or under reported
income, unreported capital gains, errors made on a previous tax
return, unreported foreign income taxable in Canada, unreported
offshore assets, and claimed ineligible expenses.
Voluntary disclosure would have been helpful in one case Sam
acted on, where a client was forced to report his foreign income
going back to the 1990s. “This client was going to his accountant
each year, laying down twenty bucks for a quick filing, and he
thought he was good and done. But he was audited, and they
discovered his offshore portfolio.”
Baffled, the client thought his offshore business didn’t have anything to do with Canada. “But the tax auditor told him he had to disclose this,” as the client was a Canadian resident since the 1990s.
“If you’ve misrepresented or submitted false information,
the audit can go back to past years. This taxpayer could have been
charged with criminal tax evasion, a charge that has jail time.”
Things have become a bit stickier in 2016, for those
with foreign accounts. Recently, Sam explained, CRA has signed
agreements with banks in Switzerland and Europe that stipulate
that Canadians must disclose their accounts, or the banks will not
continue to serve the clients.
“Canadians have to provide evidence to the offshore
banks that they disclosed the portfolio,” Sam explained. “People
are now rushing to do voluntary disclosures, because otherwise
it could mean interest and significant penalties and possible
Sam also has experience in preparing corporate
financial statements; for example, a third party user such as a
bank or potential investor requires audited or reviewed financial
statements done by a Licensed Public Accountant to verify the
numbers are fairly stated.
“People don’t understand, for instance, that taking funds
out of the corporate account have tax consequences. You can’t
take funds out tax free,” he says.
“Furthermore they’ll have to pay interest since the company is a lender.” If these funds are not paid by the taxpayer within a certain period of time, the funds have to be included on the taxpayer’s personal tax return, he asserts. If left out of the filing, it is considered unreported income, where significant penalties and interest will be applied.
Lastly, for those looking to have their tax issues settled,Sam has a key piece of advice:
“People think that when they have a tax problem they always need a tax lawyer to resolve it, which is wrong. They will end up paying too much money in legal fees.”
Extra costs, of course, are the very things that everyone wants to avoid, and Sam has been helping countless clients do that for nearly fifteen years.
Dave Gordon has penned more than a thousand articles, and more than five hundred editorials, on every topic imaginable. He writes regularly on domestic and international politics, current events, culture, relationship issues, and much more.
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