June 19th, 2020
Government must end free ride for companies who use tax havens
NEW WESTMINSTER – According to the Deputy Commissioner of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), Ted Gallivan, tougher laws and action from the federal government are the only ways to stop corporations from using international tax havens to hide their wealth offshore.
"A top official at the CRA is saying we need tougher laws to stop tax avoidance but the Liberal government has been in power since 2015 and has done absolutely nothing to close these loopholes for big corporations and the ultra rich,” said NDP Finance Critic Peter Julian. “Instead of threatening Canadians on CERB with new redundant and punitive laws, the Liberal government should be going after wealthy tax dodgers who are robbing Canadians of tax dollars needed to improve health care and infrastructure here at home.”
According to the Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO), Canada is losing $25 billion a year in tax avoidance.
Under questioning from Julian in a parliamentary committee earlier this week, the Deputy Commissioner also confirmed that not a single one of the thousands of big companies named in the Panama Papers, Paradise Papers, Bahamas Papers, or the Isle of Man Scam has ever been charged by the CRA. He admitted that the CRA “has come as far as it can” because existing legislation leaves them powerless to stop those who are taking advantage of the loopholes.
“It is extremely disturbing that none of the corporations that engage in tax evasion have ever been charged and that the government has refused to change the laws to keep that money here in Canada,” said Julian. “That’s money that should be used to help Canadian families, to build hospitals, and invest in education and infrastructure. These companies are cheating hardworking Canadians. The government needs to stop helping them do it.”