The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is aware that electronic sales suppression (ESS) software is being marketed and sold to Canadian businesses. As part of its efforts to combat the underground economy, it has introduced new measures to address this problem.

ESS software (commonly known as zapper software) is illegal. Designed to work with point‑of‑sale systems and electronic cash registers, businesses use this software to knowingly delete part of their sales from their computer records to reduce their GST/HST and income tax obligations. Using ESS software offers an unfair advantage to those who use it to circumvent Canada’s tax laws, which in turn undermines the competitiveness of businesses that follow the rules.

The Government of Canada is committed to protecting the integrity of Canada’s tax system. New measures took effect on January 1, 2014 that allow the CRA to impose civil and criminal penalties for designing, using, possessing, acquiring, manufacturing, developing, selling, possessing for sale, offering for sale, or otherwise making available ESS software.

Read more on the Canada Revenue Agency’s website.

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