Canada Revenue Agency

Canada Revenue Agency

April 15, 2013 09:00 ET

Minister Shea Highlights the Harper Government's Efforts at Cracking Down on International Tax Evasion and Aggressive International Tax Avoidance

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - April 15, 2013) - The Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of National Revenue, today highlighted that the Harper Government has increased auditing resources for the Canada Revenue Agency's (CRA) international compliance programs since 2006. Economic Action Plan 2013 builds on these efforts, and will provide the CRA with an unprecedented ability to crack down on international tax evasion and aggressive international tax avoidance.

"Our Government has long recognized that this is a serious issue, and we will continue to take strong action to tackle international tax evasion and aggressive international tax avoidance," said Minister Shea. "That's why we have increased the resources available to the CRA for auditing those who may seek to use offshore accounts or other means to avoid paying their fair share of taxes. This is good news for law-abiding Canadian taxpayers."

Since 2006, the number of audit positions in the CRA's International Audit Program has increased by almost 40%. In addition, the number of audit positions in the CRA's Aggressive Tax Planning Program has nearly doubled.

The mandate of the International Audit Program is to ensure compliance with tax provisions and treaties administered by the CRA that relate to international cross-border transactions between related parties. It fulfills this mandate through the use of education, intelligence-gathering, audits, and other actions. The role of the Aggressive Tax Planning Program is to examine transactions suspected of circumventing the law or its intent and to deter abusive transactions. The program has a focus on the abusive use of tax havens and international transactions.

In addition to these increased international auditing resources, Economic Action Plan 2013 announced further measures to crack down on international tax evasion and aggressive international tax avoidance:

  • Launching a new Stop International Tax Evasion Program that will allow the CRA to pay individuals with knowledge of major international tax non-compliance a percentage of federal tax collected as a result of the information provided;

  • Requiring financial institutions and others who currently report information on international electronic funds transfers greater than $10,000 to the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC) to also report those transactions to the CRA;

  • Streamlining the judicial process that provides the CRA authorization to obtain information from third parties such as banks. This measure will facilitate faster access to information on unnamed individuals for the purposes of civil actions; and

  • Introducing additional requirements for Canadian taxpayers with foreign income or properties to report more detailed information, and extending the amount of time the CRA has to reassess those who have not properly reported this income.

"Our Government takes the abuse of Canada's tax laws very seriously and we are dedicated to cracking down on those who attempt to cheat the system," said Minister Shea. "Increased international auditing resources at the CRA and the new measures announced in Economic Action Plan 2013 will provide additional tools to combat tax cheats and improve the integrity of Canada's tax system."

FOR BROADCAST USE:

The Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of National Revenue, today highlighted that the Harper Government has increased auditing resources for the Canada Revenue Agency's (CRA) international compliance programs since 2006. The number of audit positions in the CRA's International Audit Program has increased by almost 40%. In addition, the number of audit positions in the CRA Aggressive Tax Planning Program has nearly doubled. "Our Government takes the abuse of Canada's tax laws very seriously and is dedicated to cracking down on those who attempt to cheat the system," said Minister Shea.

Stay connected (www.cra.gc.ca/socialmedia)

To receive updates when new information is added to our Web site, you can:

- follow the CRA on Twitter - @CanRevAgency;

- subscribe to a CRA electronic mailing list; and

- add our RSS feeds to your feed reader.

You can also visit us on YouTube for tax-related videos.

Contact Information

  • Clarke Olsen
    Director of Communications
    Office of the Minister of National Revenue
    613-995-2960

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