Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada

Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada

September 18, 2014 11:00 ET

More Job Notices at the CRA: Resources Diverted from Pursuit of Avoidance and Evasion Through Offshore Tax Havens

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Sept. 18, 2014) - Some 220 more federal government professionals represented by the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC), most of them senior tax auditors, have received the news that their positions are "affected" by the government's continuing cuts to programs and services. These notices follow the decision to disband many of the international and aggressive tax planning teams at the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and reassign highly specialized team leaders and auditors to regular audit teams.

"These changes defy logic," said PIPSC President Debi Daviau. "At a time when many countries around the world are expanding their capacity to combat the illegal use of international tax havens, our government has announced changes that will impede its capacity to recover billions of dollars going off shore."

This latest development is part of an ongoing and worrisome trend to redirect Agency resources away from the auditing of aggressive tax avoidance and tax evasion schemes. In 2012, close to 400 auditors who were part of the CRA's Criminal Investigations, Special Enforcement and Voluntary Disclosure programs received similar notices. In addition, internal CRA data indicates that the return on investment for resources applied to international tax evasion and avoidance is more than twice that for other compliance programs.

"This government seems unconcerned that it is reducing the CRA's ability to crack down on avoidance and evasion of taxes through offshore tax havens. Its actions undermine fairness and deprive our country of significant and much-needed tax revenues," added Daviau. "Instead, the government is directing the CRA to aggressively pursue small, not-for-profit organizations that don't share its policy agenda and targeting its own employees with the introduction of an employee snitch line."

The Institute is also sceptical that the efficiencies realized from the restructuring of auditors into larger teams with broader mandates will outweigh the loss of specialized knowledge. In fact, in his 2014 Spring Report, the Auditor General of Canada suggested CRA should commit more resources to detecting aggressive tax plans and training the auditors assigned to these difficult cases. This latest round of reorganization at the Agency is the exact opposite of what is needed.

The Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada represents some 55,000 professionals and scientists across Canada's public sector, including approximately 7,000 auditors employed by the Canada Revenue Agency. Close to 6,300 PIPSC members have received Workforce Adjustment (WFA) notices since the tabling of the 2012 federal Budget.

Contact Information

  • Pierre Villon
    (613) 228-6310 extension 2228
    (613) 794-9369 (cell)