The media around the world is reporting on wealthy and prominent people across the globe are evading taxes.
The Minister of National Revenue’s order for an investigation makes me very nervous.
Monday, Lebouthillier’s office was quick to point out that the government is already taking action.
“International tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance are complex and global issues which is why the government has allocated over $440 million to the CRA in Budget 2016 in order to combat tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance, including offshore,” said Luciani-Girouard.
She said CRA has been collecting information on all international funds transfers over $10,000, including from Panama, since January 2015 “and it is selecting the highest risk taxpayers for review or audit.”
“Canada has significant tools to detect offshore tax avoidance and past success working ith leaked information to detect and correct non-compliance.”
Critics, however, have accused the CRA of going after small scale tax cheats while failing to curb more sophisticated and larger scale tax evasion. They point out that the CRA won’t even cooperate with the Parliamentary Budget Officer to measure the tax gap – the difference between what Canada is collecting in taxes and what it should be collecting.
I fear we will be “small scale” scapegoats even though we are not tax cheats. I fear the Lib Cons and the Con Cons will point to FATCA as an example of what they are proudly doing to combat tax evasion. I fear they will say they must FATCA us to get information from other countries about Canadians in Canada who truly are evading taxes.
I fear banks will point to us as examples of how they are helping to combat tax evasion–while they actively help real tax evaders escape the law.
I hope I’m wrong. But I fear I’m not. Get ready.