Is the CRA Getting Their Priorities Straight?

priority for the CRA offshore tax evasion

We all have grumblings and complaints about the way that the CRA handles things. Normally we think of this as a collective agency that is made of a substantial amount of agents and a variety of locations. It is important to look at the top of this government organization and keep in mind that their boss is the politicians that we have put into office.

It always seems as though this Canada tax agency is after the little guys. The personal tax payers and the small corporations that have run into tax issues. For them there is no evidence that the tax collectors don’t have time to do their jobs.

Of course when the newspapers run articles about the tax havens that are still so rampant and applicable to many large Canadian conglomerates it infuriates the average taxpayer. There are potentially billions of dollars being hidden offshore, yet the CRA is intent on going after the tax payer who owes a few hundred dollars.  It is being speculated that in 2014 it was the first year the government could say that more than half of the government’s revenue came from personal tax collected.

So where is the balance here?

Does it come down to employee cuts in the CRA. No doubt to go after the big tax havens it would take agents with a great deal of experience, and therefore would mean paying these types of employee’s a much higher salary. So have the employee cuts been here and this is part of the problem.  Yet, the CRA budget was increased by $16 million to go after these offshore tax evaders.  Sounds significant doesn’t it, but what we are forgetting is there was more than $500 million cut from the CRA budget to begin with.

There is a lot of speculation about where the government is going wrong with the off shore tax evasion. What some are calling for is accountability in regards to the Canadian government making it known as to what are the tax gaps that are present. For some reason this isn’t being made known. This has led to such frustration that there was a new bill introduced that would force the government to do this.

It is estimated that the overseas tax evasion is costing the government billions of dollars in lost tax revenue.

Although most people really don’t like paying taxes, they know it is a necessity. What they really don’t like is unfair play.

It comes down to there has to be a level of accountability. Is the money that was put back into the CRA budget supposedly to be used for offshore tax evasion really being used for that?   Or, is it being used to fund more collection tactics against the personal or small business tax payer?  We are supposed to be living in a world of government accountability and transparency.  When a bill has to be brought into play in order to face the government to be accountable what does that say about our government?

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Sam Seidman, CPA, CA, LPA
629 Sheppard Avenue West
Toronto, Ontario
M3H 2S3

Telephone: (416) 398-1700
Fax: (416) 398-6226

Chartered Professional Accountant, Chartered Accountant, Licensed Public Accountant


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