As the tax deadline approaches, you may be tempted by investment seminars offering tax-saving strategies that help you “maximize tax flow” or “pay less taxes.”


Unfortunately, the tax breaks on offer may be too good to be true. In some cases, investors have been audited years later to find that they owe additional taxes, interest, or penalties to the Canada Revenue Agency.


“Our concern is that in some cases, tax strategies are used to promote questionable investments,” said Perry Quinton, Manager of Investor Communications at the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC). “Before you invest, it's worth taking the time to know exactly what you’re investing in.”


Here are some tips to help you protect your money:


  • Resist the urge to invest right away at the seminar. If this investment opportunity is suitable for you, you have enough time to think it through. Get a second opinion from a qualified, independent tax expert.

  • Don’t rely on the presenter’s reputation as a financial guru. Is he or she qualified to sell this investment? Call to the OSC (toll-free 1-877-785-1555) to check registration.

  • Find out how the speaker gets paid. It may be a free seminar, but speakers may be paid a fee to promote a certain product.

Question any opportunity that guarantees high return and low risk. If the investment return is higher than current bank rates, you are taking a greater risk with your money.

Visit www.checkbeforeyouinvest.cato find out some key things you should know before you invest, or call the OSC toll-free at 1-877-785-1555.