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Ottawa, Ontario -- The Canadian government is reportedly seeking to boost penalties for retailers caught using “zapper” software that can delete or modify transactional data in electronic POS systems to illegally hide sales.
According to Bloomberg, following an investigation into the use of zapper software by Canadian hospitality retailers that resulted in tax evasion prosecution of two chains and their directors, the government wants to create new civil and criminal penalties for both companies using zapper software and those that develop and/or provide it. A voluntary disclosure program would allow companies using zapper software to only pay taxes and interest if they came forward before an investigation began.
The penalties are mainly seen as a way to protect large retail chains against unfair competition from smaller retailers that are more likely to use zapper software. Canadian Parliament is expected to start considering the proposed penalties in the near future.