Statement from the Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of National Revenue
October 26, 2016 - Ottawa, Ontario - Canada Revenue Agency
Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of National Revenue, delivered the following statement in response to the Standing Committee on Finance’s Report: The Canada Revenue Agency, Tax Avoidance and Tax Evasion: Recommended Actions:
I thank the Standing Committee on Finance for its report, The Canada Revenue Agency, Tax Avoidance and Tax Evasion: Recommended Actions, and look forward to reviewing the recommendations that have been put forth by the committee.
I also want to commend the work of the committee and its members for its efforts to address the issue of tax evasion and tax avoidance—one that is very important to all Canadians.
The Government of Canada will formally respond to the committee’s recommendations in accordance with the timelines and rules of Parliament.
I know that Canadians work hard and that the majority pay their fair share of taxes, which contribute to essential programs and services that make our country great. But, there are still some who do not pay what they owe by participating in complex tax schemes. This has to stop to ensure our tax system is fair to all Canadian taxpayers. That is why, bolstered by an unprecedented investment of $444 million over a five year period, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will have even more resources and tools to crack down on tax cheats and strengthen compliance—both at home and abroad. This work is very much ongoing and we are on track to attain the additional $2.6 billion in fiscal impact targeted at the time of the investment’s announcement.
This investment strengthens the tools the Agency currently has to tackle offshore tax evasion and aggressive tax planning. The CRA is working with our international partners to increasingly share data to ensure we stop those who choose to hide their assets away and not pay their fair share of taxes.
Since 2015, the Agency has tracked international electronic funds transfers of over $10,000. Based on the information collected, the Agency is currently reviewing 20,000 transactions, worth over $7 billion, in three jurisdictions of concern. The CRA will continue to track these transactions and study other jurisdictions of concern, to ensure a tax system that is fairer to all taxpayers. Regarding tax evasion, there are 750 audits of high income taxpayers ongoing and 20 criminal investigations underway. These are some of the concrete actions that the CRA is taking to ensure that taxpayers are not burdened unfairly by a minority who choose not to pay what they owe, by participating in tax schemes.
The CRA will continue to address the very serious issues of tax avoidance and tax evasion using more sophisticated business intelligence; hiring additional experts from many disciplines; and, stronger international collaboration, to crack down on those taxpayers who don’t pay what they owe.
Office of the Minister of National Revenue
Canada Revenue Agency
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