Archived - Government Moving Forward to Address Tax Evasion Through the Automatic Exchange of Tax Information

February 5, 2016 – Ottawa, Ontario – Department of Finance

Finance Minister Bill Morneau and Minister of National Revenue Diane Lebouthillier today announced that the Government of Canada has signed a Joint Declaration with Switzerland expressing the intent of the two countries to engage in the automatic exchange of financial account information in accordance with the Common Reporting Standard (CRS) developed by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. The Declaration was signed in Ottawa by Minister Lebouthillier and His Excellency Dr. Beat Nobs, Ambassador of Switzerland to Canada and the Bahamas.

The information received will improve Canada’s ability to detect and address cases of tax evasion, ensure tax compliance and protect the integrity of Canada’s tax system.

The Government of Canada is pleased that the Joint Declaration helps set the stage for Canada and Switzerland to mutually benefit from forging an exchange partnership under the CRS Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement to which both countries are parties. This agreement sets the framework of operational procedures to be used by tax administrations under the new standard.

Canada intends to implement the CRS starting on July 1, 2017, allowing a first exchange of information in 2018. As of the implementation date, Canadian financial institutions will be expected to have procedures in place to identify accounts held by non-residents and to report the required information to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). As the CRA formalizes exchange arrangements with foreign jurisdictions, having verified that each jurisdiction has appropriate capacity and safeguards in place, the information will begin to be exchanged on a reciprocal, bilateral basis.

Draft legislative proposals for implementing the CRS in Canada will be released for public comment in the near future.

Annie Donolo
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Finance

Jack Aubry
Media Relations
Department of Finance

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