Opposition MPs have demanded that the federal government shall stop taking “baby steps” in its crackdown against those who have concealed their wealth in offshore accounts in order to avoid paying taxes. This assertion was made in light of a recent worldwide release of offshore financial information, that was initially publicized by the Washington based, International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.
The report showed that there are almost 2.5 million files that lead to the revelation of secret accounts of more than 130,000 people worldwide, including nearly 450 Canadians. Even though having an offshore account is not an illegal deed, however these leaked documents illustrates that majority of these accounts are being secretly held only to avoid paying taxes. The federal minister responsible for the Canada Revenue Agency, Gail Shea, confessed that tax havens are a problem for her government.
Shea alleged that “we have since 2006 assessed more than $4.6 billion in unpaid tax from offshore accounts, so that’s significant.” She further highlighted the issue, saying that “it’s a serious matter. This money is owed to Canadians so we’re putting a real effort into going after them.” Additionally, Gail Shea, pointed out that “I expect CRA officials to review any information they receive and aggressively pursue all suspected cases of tax evasion.” She also added that the “Economic Action Plan 2013 builds on this success and proposes a number of measures to combat international tax evasion and close tax loopholes to ensure tax fairness.”
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