A Toronto-area accounting firm is under investigation by the Competition Bureau for allegedly providing misleading information in order to lure people who want to take advantage of emergency assistance programs like PCU.
A court order recently obtained by the office directs Canada Tax Reviews to submit documents and provide relevant information.
During the pandemic, the company has promoted its services to people interested in taking advantage of government emergency assistance programs, including the Canada Emergency Benefit (CEP) and Canada Economic Recovery Benefits (PCRE).
According to an article in the May 2020 Financial Post, the company was charging $160 per PCU application request, with a monthly amount of $2,000. A demobilized person who has applied for ECPs six months in a row can pay up to $960 for this service alone.
However, Canada Tax Reviews were simply asking for the basic information needed to apply to the assistance program.
The process of applying to the PCU was so simple, a spokesperson for the Canada Revenue Agency, citing the “Financial Post”, advised the public not to do business with this company.
The company had indicated that it only took the money when its customers received their help and denied that it acted in violation of the laws.
“The Bureau’s investigation seeks to determine whether the business practices of Canada’s tax audits raise concerns under the deceptive marketing practices provisions of the Competition Act. No conclusions can be drawn regarding the alleged wrongdoing at this time,” the Bureau of Competition said in a statement Friday.