Originally Posted by Styrak
Why didn't you just say that what gun you have and what you paid for it is none of their fucking business? It had nothing to do with the matter at hand, what the customs officer had to deal with.
Because it's totally their business as it is an officer's job as assigned by the Canadian government to determine admissibility of goods in to country and to assess and collect the duties and taxes on the imported goods as required.
You, as the importer has entered in to the duty and understanding that you are to answer all of the officer's questions that they require to perform their job. Anything beyond that, you CAN be charged with a criminal offense of tax evasion.
An officer would have to be in a pretty bad mood to hit you with that criminal charge, but they have every right to. Would the hassles of trying to fight off that charge plus the potential of carrying a criminal record for the rest of your life be worth saving $15? In my opinion, not worth it.
As a high volume importer, I personally wouldn't think it's worth it, especially when most of the goods I import aren't for myself anyways. I'm not screwing up my life for someone else's toys.
My personal suggestion is to be honest - but that's only because I tried the lying bit once and was not only threatened with the criminal charge, but I AM red-flagged for the 7 years following my bust (6 years left to go...) and was charged not only full GST and PST on the FULL MSRP of the goods (the officer looked it up, because I failed to produce an invoice for it), but was also hit with a 30% penalty fee PLUS an additional 3.5% in duties for the classification of those particular goods.
I went through all that crap - why? Because I wanted to save $80 in taxes. The final price I paid for everything ended up being several hundred dollars more than if I'd bought it locally and even more than that if I'd just declared the goods and paid the taxes.
Ultimately, I could've saved myself all that grief by declaring the goods and paying just $80 in taxes. Yup... just $80. The crap that I have to go through now, every time I cross the border or import an item was totally not worth saving that $80... This was on goods worth about $1200. I ended up paying almost $1700 PLUS an account red-flag when all was said and done, when I could've come clean and paid less than $1300.