Is It CRA Pass The Buck Time?
One of the most important campaign promises that our new Liberal government made during the election campaign was to have an equal tax system for all. With the latest news being made to the public about the amnesty that was being given to the KPMG clients this is really going to create an accountability for the prime minister.
Most that listen to the news will be aware of what many are calling an atrocity on the part of the CRA and a blatant display of unfairness especially when there was such hype about cracking down on those that were very rich avoiding their tax obligations.
According to the documents that were leaked from the CRA it would appear that KPMG clients are getting a very sweet deal and are not even being subjected to a hand slap.
No doubt it to became a point of contention in parliament and the Prime Minister was put on the hot seat as to what he is going to do about it.
Basically what it does come down to at this point is that it seems to be “pass the buck” time for the CRA. It would appear that nobody wants to take the responsibility for arranging and approving this deal that was highly secret. So secret in fact that there was a clause put in the deal for confidentiality.
It definitely had to be a high level decision based on the amount of money that it involves. It appears that the offer was dated back in May 2015 which gives the Prime Minister the opportunity to blame all of this on the previous government. All indications are that this involves 26 clients of KPMG to a tune of $130 million in off shore money.
The bandwagon that the CRA seems to be riding on is the voluntary disclosure program which does provide amnesty for taxpayers who come clean about their potentially shady tax dealings. However, this is only applicable if the taxpayer has not already been identified by the CRA. It would seem that this was not the case for the KPMG clients as the agency was already involved in an investigation that dated back to 2012.
What is somewhat intriguing about this whole CRA mess is that it seems to be very unclear as to who actually made the amnesty offer. One thing is for sure is that it was being handled by the top level echelon at the CRA. There is a off shore division for the CRA and all indications are is that there were daily briefings taking place in 2015 between this division and the high level officials of the tax department.
While various news medias have approached the different officials at the CRA it is most evident that nobody wants to take responsibility for this and it is all coming across a basically as “I didn’t do it”. The bottom line is that that they are reporting that there is no internal disorder or debate evidence.
One party that was working for the CRA as a assisting commissioner who has since retired and has also indicated that he has not been involved in any settlement offer with the KPMG.
So the question is who in the CRA is responsible for this and did they have the authority to do so and by what or whose authority were they given to act in this manner. The second question is … the Prime Minister going to clean house at the CRA so tax fairness can truly become a reality in Canada?