CRA probes Toronto pre-construction condo flipping cases for tax avoidance

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David Donnelly/CBC

Canada Revenue Agency is analyzing 2,810 transactions involving cases of pre-construction condominium flipping in Toronto to determine whether audits need to be carried out to find tax evaders.

In the Toronto area in particular, audit work has increased substantially on what are called "assignment sales" or "shadow flipping" in which a condo is purchased from a developer and sold to another buyer before the unit is completed, the federal government agency said Tuesday.

"The profits from flipping real estate are generally considered to be fully taxable as business income," said CRA spokesperson Zoltan Csepregi in an emailed statement. "The facts of each case determine whether such profits should be reported as business income or as a capital gain."

Real estate deals in the Greater Toronto Area and Vancouver have been the subject of greater scrutiny, including audits, the agency said.

"Over the years, CRA has made significant progress in using intelligence gathered through a variety of tools at its disposal as well as using experienced audit and investigations teams," noted Csepregi.

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