Canada Revenue Agency

Canada Revenue Agency

September 09, 2014 14:09 ET

Government of Canada Strengthens Collaboration With the United Kingdom

Minister of National Revenue concludes two days of meetings in London

LONDON, ENGLAND--(Marketwired - Sept. 9, 2014) - Canada Revenue Agency

The Honourable Kerry-Lynne D. Findlay, P.C., Q.C., M.P., Minister of National Revenue, today wrapped up a successful two-day trip to London, England. During her visit, Minister Findlay met with David Gauke, Financial Secretary to the Treasury for the United Kingdom (U.K.) and responsible for Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC), as well as HMRC senior officials, members of the tax community, and other stakeholders.

During her discussions with Financial Secretary Gauke, Minister Findlay highlighted Government of Canada priorities with regard to tax compliance as well as support for small business. Canada is continuously looking for ways to enhance the exchange of information through negotiations of tax agreements, renegotiations of existing treaties, and enhancements of administrative arrangements with other countries. These efforts have led, for example, to the signing on July 21, 2014, of a protocol between Canada and the U.K. amending the Convention between our two governments for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with Respect to Taxes on Income and on Capital.

Information sharing with the U.K. was at the forefront of discussions between Minister Findlay and Financial Secretary Gauke to combat international tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance. By working together bilaterally and in multilateral fora, both jurisdictions can more effectively address global non-compliance with a strong and united front.

Minister Findlay and Financial Secretary Gauke discussed the importance of a fair and competitive tax environment for small business. Recognizing the importance of being able to determine the relative effectiveness of different approaches to promote tax compliance overall, Minister Findlay took the opportunity to be briefed on an Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development project being led by the U.K. on methods and approaches to measure the success of compliance strategies. She congratulated HMRC on the work accomplished so far and looks forward to the public release of the report this fall.

Another priority for both the CRA and HMRC is the continued expansion of online options for individuals and businesses. Improved service supports voluntary compliance by reducing the burden and making it easier for taxpayers to meet their tax obligations. Minister Findlay was pleased to learn about the similarities between HMRC's and CRA's approach to e-services aimed at enabling taxpayers and businesses to self-serve online.

The minister also participated in a workshop hosted by the Canadian Tax Foundation and attended by Chartered Professional Accountants Canada as well as representatives from the U.K., Ireland, the Netherlands, and Canada. The workshop explored the benefits of a collaborative approach to compliance between tax administrations and intermediaries. The CRA has recently introduced innovative approaches that promote tax compliance through earlier and more collaborative interventions, direct support services and education and it continues to explore new and innovative ways to enhance voluntary compliance as well as to cut red tape and reduce the compliance burden.

While in London, Minister Findlay also met with officials from the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS), who acknowledged Canada's successful approach to reducing red tape, and the CRA and OTS have agreed to an on-going exchange of ideas. She visited the U.K.'s Tax Administration Research Centre, a partnership with academia partly funded by the U.K. tax administration, and confirmed Canada's desire to explore opportunities to leverage their work over the coming years.

Quick Facts

- Canada and the U.K. work closely together as part of international organizations and are the only two countries that are members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the G8, the G20 and the Commonwealth.

- The U.K. is by far Canada's most important commercial partner in Europe and, from a global perspective, ranks third after the United States and China. In 2010, total bilateral trade between Canada and the U.K. reached over CDN$27.1 billion, and over the last five years the U.K. has been Canada's second-largest goods export market.

- The Canada-United Kingdom Tax Convention was originally signed on September 8, 1978.

Quotes

"I appreciate the opportunity to meet with my counterpart, David Gauke, Financial Secretary to the Treasury for the United Kingdom. Our administrations face similar challenges and through ongoing collaboration we can advance the efficiency and effectiveness of tax administration, both domestically and internationally."

- The Honourable Kerry-Lynne D. Findlay, P.C., Q.C., M.P., Minister of National Revenue

"The July signing of the Protocol between Canada and the U.K. is a recent example of the Government of Canada's commitment to share information in a safe and secure way to combat international tax evasion and aggressive tax planning. By working together we can come up with innovative approaches to address global non-compliance."

- The Honourable Kerry-Lynne D. Findlay, P.C., Q.C., M.P., Minister of National Revenue

"In an increasingly globalized business and investment environment, it is particularly important that tax administrations work not only together but also with the business and tax communities to identify and adopt collaborative approaches that support tax compliance. The CTF is proud to have hosted a very productive workshop with representatives from Canada, the U.K., Ireland and the Netherlands where we explored collaborative approaches to help individual taxpayers and businesses efficiently meet their tax obligations. We appreciate the support of the Government of Canada and of Minister Findlay, particularly, in this important work."

- Larry Chapman, FCPA, FCA, Executive Director and CEO, Canadian Tax Foundation

"Canada's tax system is based on the concept of voluntary compliance and we have long advocated for a collaborative approach between tax administrations, businesses and tax professionals to develop ways to minimize the burden of compliance and its corresponding costs. We appreciate the Government of Canada's outreach efforts, both at home and abroad, to determine best practices that will protect the integrity of our tax system while making it more efficient and effective on behalf of taxpayers and tax practitioners."

- Gabe Hayos, Vice President, Taxation, Chartered Professional Accountants Canada

Associated Links

Protocol Signed Between Canada and the United Kingdom

Canada and the United Kingdom

High Commission of Canada in the United Kingdom

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Contact Information

  • Rebecca Rogers
    Director of Communications
    Office of the Minister of National Revenue
    613-995-2960

    Noel Carisse
    Media Relations
    Canada Revenue Agency
    613-952-9184