Off Shore Tax Evasion and Canada’s Involvement

Tax Haven offshore barbadosIt is ironic that the average Canadian tax payer tries to be so vigilant on meeting their tax responsibilities yet the Canadian government lags behind in a commitment to join in world efforts to squash international tax evasion. Our counterparts such as Britain and Australia have managed to compile a list of offshore financial records which Canada has had no access to but has just now shown an interest.

It is unclear as to why Gail Shea minister of Revenue has not come forward as of yet as to why Canada has not joined in with other countries in their investigation of the records. The United States has joined in partnership for the world-wide investigation.
All of this focuses around the big revelation last month that a data base of off shore accounts existed and the files were apparently leaked, and it became public news that such a collection of names regarding off shores actually existed. Apparently the investigation is into full swing regarding tax fraud via off shore accounts.
Toronto accountants are swamped every year with the filing of tax returns for both business and personal returns. CRA is quick to jump on individuals who have filed late or owe taxes. For the most part Canadian tax payers accept these actions as they feel it is the Canadian Government’s responsibility to watch over the Canadian tax coffers and see to it that taxes are paid.
This seemingly lack of interest in what is happening off shore is mind boggling. It would appear that it’s the little guys who are the brunt of CRA’s tax fury, yet the tax officials have no interest in going after the big guys who are tax evading with their off shore accounts. One may argue that is because the Canadian tax department simply lacks the investigative funds or perhaps the man power. This doesn’t hold much credence as an argument though,when they could have joined the three other countries and had access to the data files already collected. It is reported that Canada has only asked for the files during the last month, and that was only after the big leak of the files hit the new media. Is one supposed to believe that this is the first time that CRA heard about such a file, or the existence of mass tax evasion?
I guess the argument could be made that it is much easier for our Government to go after the average tax payer who is late with filing than it is the big tax culprits.
Don’t let yourself get into a position where you are in trouble with the CRA. I would be pleased as a Toronto Accountant to handle your tax matters for you. Just give me a call at (416)398-1700 so we can set up a free consultation.

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Sam Seidman, CPA, CA, LPA
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