Offshore Compliance Advisory Committee

In April 2016, the Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of National Revenue, announced the creation of the Offshore Compliance Advisory Committee (OCAC), an independent advisory committee on offshore tax evasion and aggressive tax planning.

Mandate

The mandate of the committee is to advise the Minister and the CRA on strategies to combat offshore tax evasion and aggressive tax planning. The role of each member is to consider the administrative measures needed to help protect the Canadian tax base and enhance the overall fairness and transparency of Canadian tax administration.

Governance

The committee has a chair and four to six members who are appointed for a two-year term. Members are experts from outside government with significant legal, judicial, and tax administration experience. The CRA acts as secretariat and supports the chair by planning and coordinating meetings, drafting agendas, and circulating the minutes. CRA officials share their experience by providing background information to members about the CRA's policies and procedures.

Reports, publications and correspondence

The CRA has made important program and policy changes using the advice and recommendations of the OCAC such as the tightening of the Voluntary Disclosure Program criteria, and strengthening the governance around the use of audit agreements.

The OCAC has produced the following outputs:

  • Report on the Voluntary Disclosures Program (VDP)
  • Letter and recommendations relating to the CRA's use of big data

Voluntary Disclosures Program

The Voluntary Disclosures Program (VDP) provides a second chance for qualified taxpayers to correct their tax affairs before the CRA takes action, and is an important component of the Government of Canada's commitment to crack down on tax evasion and tax avoidance. The OCAC report, submitted in December 2016, provides background information on the VDP concept in general, examines the Canadian program, and offers recommendations on how to strengthen it.

The CRA's use of big data

On November 1, 2017, the Minister of National Revenue received a letter from the OCAC outlining five recommendations with regard to the Canada Revenue Agency's (CRA) use of "big data" in compliance activities. In February 2018, the Minister and the CRA issued their responses to the OCAC's recommendations.

Meeting agendas and minutes

The agendas and minutes of each meeting are available below.

June 15, 2016

August 3, 2016

February 3, 2017

June 13, 2017

November 17, 2017

June 8, 2018

Current members

Current members

Dr. Colin Campbell (Chair), Associate Professor of Law at Western University

  • Formerly a senior tax partner at the Toronto office of Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP
  • Formerly assistant professor of political science at Mount Allison University in Sackville, New Brunswick
  • B.A. (University of Toronto), M.Sc. (London School of Economics and Political Science), Ph.D. (University of Toronto), LL.B. (University of Western Ontario)
  • Dr. Campbell's practice included international tax, trusts, mergers and acquisitions, public securities offerings and restructurings and acting for private family enterprises in domestic and international trust matters
  • Appeared before trial and appellate courts on income tax matters and frequently represented taxpayers with federal and provincial tax authorities
  • Author of numerous publications, including most recently Administration of Income Tax 2018 (Thomson Reuters, 2018) and Taxation of Corporate Reorganizations, (co-author), third edition, forthcoming 2019, Thomson Reuters

Kimberley Brooks (Vice-Chair), Professor and Purdy Crawford Chair in Business Law, Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University

  • Former Dean, Schulich School of Law, (2010 to 2015)
  • Former H. Heward Stikeman Chair in Tax Law at McGill University Faculty of Law
  • B.A. (University of Toronto); LL.B (University of BC); Master of Law (Taxation) at Osgoode Hall Law School (York University)
  • Previously taught in the faculties of law at McGill, UBC and Queen's
  • Main research interests are in the area of corporate and international tax law and policy and tax administration

Brigitte Alepin, Canadian tax practitioner and Professor of tax at l'École des Sciences de la gestion at l'Université du Québec à Montréal

  • Ranked in February 2016 amongst the 50 most influential tax practitioners in the world by the International Tax Review
  • Master of Public Administration, Harvard, Master's degree in taxation, Université de Sherbrooke, Bachelor of accounting sciences, UQAM
  • Fellow of the Order of Chartered Accountants and Grande Ambassadrice of the École des Sciences de la gestion of the Université du Québec à Montréal
  • Won a Gémeaux award for her screenwriting on the documentary The Price We Pay
  • Has acted as a tax policy and public finance expert on behalf of governments, major Canadian and international organizations
  • Has testified over 12 times at Senate or House of Commons committees and at the Assemblée nationale de la France
  • 30 years of experience in tax and Professor of tax at the Université du Quebec à Montreal
  • Authored and co-authored many books and publications on taxation
  • Initiator and cofounder of TaxCOOP and frequent speaker at conferences

Dr. Catherine Brown, Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Calgary

  • Visiting professor across the globe, including the University of Toronto, the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies in Singapore, and Stanford University, where she was also a Fulbright Fellow
  • Currently a Senior Fellow and honorary adjunct professor with the Taxation Law and Policy Research Institute at Monash University in Australia
  • Currently a Director of the Legal Education Society of Alberta
  • Member of both the Alberta and Ontario Bars
  • Past Governor of the Canadian Tax Foundation
  • Was appointed to the Indicative List for Canada to the Dispute Resolution Body of the World Trade Organization in 1999 and to the Chapter 19 Roster for Binational Panels in 2018
  • Received the Law Society of Alberta and Canadian Bar Association Award for Distinguished Service in Legal Scholarship in 2011
  • Received the Canadian Tax Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award in 2017
  • Is the author of Taxation and Estate Planning, as well as numerous publications for the Canadian Tax Foundation and the Estates, Trusts and Pensions Journal
  • Has a particular interest in taxation and international estate planning

Larry Chapman, FCPA, FCA

  • Former Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Tax Foundation from 2008-2016
  • Past Chair of the Board of Directors of St. Joseph's Health Centre Foundation
  • National Managing Partner of Tax Services at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP from 2001 to 2007 and Leader of the Financial Services Tax practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP from 1998 to 2001
  • Vice President, Tax Planning and Strategy, Bacardi Limited (1997-1998)
  • Managing Tax Partner for the Metro Toronto Region and Member of the Toronto Region Management Committee, Price Waterhouse from 1994 to 1997 and Tax partner at Price Waterhouse from 1986 to 1994
  • B. Comm. (University of Toronto) 1975; Chartered Accountant, Ontario, 1977; Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario, 2003
  • Member of the Executive Committee, Board of Regents, Chair of the Audit Committee, Victoria University, 2011-2014
  • Governor, Member of the Executive Committee and Chairman of the Finance Committee of the Canadian Tax Foundation (2006-2008)
  • Authored and co-authored many publications on taxation
  • Frequent speaker at conferences

Arthur Cockfield, Professor, Faculty of Law, Queen's University

  • Tax law scholar and policy consultant
  • HBA (Western University Ivey School of Business), LL.B (Queen's University), JSM and JSD (Stanford University)
  • Past Fulbright Visiting Chair in Policy Studies at the University of Texas at Austin
  • Served as a legal and policy consultant to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, the United Nations, the World Bank, the Department of Justice, the Department of Finance, the Advisory Panel on Canada's System of International Taxation, the National Judicial Institute, the Office of the Auditor General of Canada and the Office of the Privacy Commissioner
  • Has testified before the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance on multiple occasions
  • Has authored, co-authored or edited books, academic articles and book chapters that focus on tax law as well as law and technology theory and privacy law
  • Awarded (with Catherine Brown) the Douglas J. Sherbaniuk Distinguished Writing Award by the Canadian Tax Foundation

Dr. Daniel B. Thornton, FCPA, FCA, Professor of Accounting, Smith School of Business at Queen's University

  • In 2017, completed a 12-year appointment as the Chartered Accountants of Ontario Professor at Queen's and a nine-year appointment as a voting member of the Accounting Standards Oversight Council of Canada
  • Fellow of the Chartered Professional Accountants of both Ontario and Alberta
  • Served as a full-time Professional Accounting Fellow at the United States Securities and Exchange Commission
  • Served as an associate editor of The Accounting Review and Contemporary Accounting Research
  • Was a voting member of the Canadian Accounting Standards Board
  • Has received both the Distinguished Contribution to Accounting Thought Award and the Outstanding Educator Award from the Canadian Academic Accounting Association
  • Has provided extensive expert accounting testimony to various courts and to the Senate of Canada and is frequently quoted in the financial press
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