Ottawa, Ontario, April 9, 2013… The Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of National Revenue, today highlighted important new initiatives introduced by the Harper Government in Economic Action Plan 2013 to strengthen the capacity of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) to crack down on international tax avoidance and evasion.
“Our Government has long recognized that international tax evasion is a serious problem,” said Minister Shea. “As announced in Economic Action Plan 2013, our Government is taking strong action to tackle tax evasion. We are committed to cracking down on individuals who avoid paying their fair share of taxes.”
Economic Action Plan 2013 proposes the following measures to combat International Tax Evasion and close tax loopholes to ensure tax fairness for all Canadians:
- Launching a new Stop International Tax Evasion Program that will allow the CRA to pay individuals with knowledge of major international tax non-compliance a percentage of tax collected as a result of the information provided;
- Requiring financial institutions and others who currently report information on international electronic funds transfers greater than $10,000 to the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC) to also report those transactions to the CRA;
- Streamlining the process for obtaining information on third parties in the course of conducting an audit to speed up the process and allow the CRA faster access to information on unnamed individuals for the purposes of civil actions; and
- Introducing new requirements for Canadian taxpayers with foreign income or properties to report more information, and extending the amount of time the CRA has to reassess those who have not properly reported this income.
The Minister of Revenue has also publicly called upon the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists to provide the CRA with the information they currently hold on individuals with income or property held offshore, including 450 Canadians. This request was supported by a written request from the CRA to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists as well as to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), which underscored the public interest in confidential disclosure of the information to the Agency. In addition, the Agency is working with the United States and its international partners in exploring other avenues of addressing international tax evasion.
“These new measures will provide the CRA with additional tools to combat tax cheats,” said Minister Shea. “Our Government is serious about cracking down on those who attempt to cheat the system. Since 2006, our Government has introduced over 75 measures to improve the integrity of the tax system for the benefit of all Canadians.”