Canada Signs Agreement to Combat Tax Evasion

The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, announced today that he signed an international agreement that will facilitate and improve the exchange of tax information between Canada and other countries around the world, which will help combat cross-border tax evasion. This agreement was signed during the Group of Twenty (G-20) Summit in Cannes, France.

“This updated international Convention will help Canada and other countries combat cross-border tax evasion through enhanced information sharing,” said Minister Flaherty. “A secure tax base contributes significantly to a sound economy, which is more important than ever in these challenging economic times.”

The agreement updates the Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters to make it a more efficient tool in combating international tax evasion.

The Convention was developed jointly by the Council of Europe and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development to create a network for mutual administrative assistance in tax matters between signatory countries. It has been updated to ensure that bank secrecy laws or domestic tax interest requirements do not prevent a country from exchanging information for tax purposes.

The amended Convention is consistent with Canada’s international efforts to strengthen tax co-operation through the effective exchange of tax information. It also addresses a call by G-20 Leaders at the Toronto Summit in June 2010 for the development of a multilateral mechanism for tax information exchange that is open to all countries.

The Convention will enter into force in Canada only after it has been tabled in Parliament and ratified.

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