OTTAWA, June 1, 2017 /CNW/ - Hard-working Canadians pay taxes and in return, expect a tax system that is fair and where everyone pays their share. However, too many corporations and wealthy individuals are trying to find ways to not pay what they owe. This is why the Government of Canada has committed important resources to crack down on tax cheats, both at home and abroad, to make sure that all Canadians can continue benefiting from the programs they rely on to improve their quality of life. To that end, early results show that audits in the past fiscal year are on track to capture more than $13 billion-worth of taxes owed.
The Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of National Revenue, provided an update earlier this week on the progress the government has made in addressing the recommendations made by the Standing Committee on Finance this past fall to combat tax evasion. Since it last responded to the Committee in February, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has made significant progress by:
- Strengthening its capacity by establishing specialized collection teams and adding technical and legal expertise to its audit and investigative teams.
- Improving processes to better use external data for the identification of high risk taxpayers.
- Increasing collaboration with domestic partners such as the Public Prosecution Service of Canada (PPSC), to more effectively crack down on those who choose to participate in tax crimes.
- Increasing collaboration and information sharing with international partners because tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance transcends geographic borders.
- Striving for early resolution of audit issues in a fair and consistent manner, in the interest of all Canadians.
- Reviewing and modernizing existing programs, such as the Voluntary Disclosures Program, through consultation with experts and Canadians, to ensure our tax system is responsive and fair.
The Minister also took the opportunity to highlight some of the important measures that have been put in place at the CRA because of the historic investment made through Budgets 2016 and 2017. With the close to $1 billion in additional support to combat tax cheating at home and abroad, the Agency is better positioned and has more resources than ever to detect, audit, and combat illegal tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance. Preliminary results show that the Agency is on track to generate over $13 billion from audit efforts for the most recent fiscal year ending March 31, 2017. Two-thirds of these revenues are the result of our audit efforts relating to large businesses and multinational companies.
Overall, the additional $1 billion in funding is expected to have a federal revenue impact of over $5 billion over the next five years.
This Government is committed to ensuring that those who promote or participate in tax avoidance and tax evasion face the full consequences of the law.
"Canadians work hard to pay their fair share of taxes, so that they can enjoy the social programs we all benefit from and which make a big difference in our lives. When some choose not to pay their part, it places an unfair burden on all of us. This has to change and that is why our government is committed to putting the right tools and measures in place to combat tax evasion and avoidance. Today, I send another strong message to all Canadians: we are building a stronger and more fair tax system, where those who choose to cheat, are no longer able to hide and will face the consequences of their actions."
-The Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of National Revenue
- The Agency has also been tracking international electronic funds transfers (EFT) of over $10,000. Based on the information collected, as of March 31, 2017, the Agency has analyzed over 41,000 transactions, worth over $12 billion, to and from four jurisdictions and financial institutions of concern. Four additional jurisdictions or financial institutions of concern will now be reviewed every year and every EFT of over $10,000 will be analyzed to identify high risk taxpayers.
- Between April 1, 2011 and March 31, 2016, the CRA convicted 42 taxpayers with offshore links of tax evasion, involving $34 million in federal taxes evaded, court fines of $12 million, and 734 months of jail time.
- Overall, the CRA is currently conducting audits of over 820 taxpayers and criminally investigating 20 cases of tax evasion specifically linked to offshore accounts.
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SOURCE Canada Revenue Agency
For further information: Chloé Luciani-Girouard, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of National Revenue, 613-995-2960; Media Relations, Canada Revenue Agency, 613-952-9184