Gail Shea, minister of national revenue, says the Harper Government has increased auditing resources for the Canada Revenue Agency’s international compliance programs every year since 2006.
Budget 2013 built on these efforts, allowing the agency to crack down on international tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance.
“This is a serious issue, and we’ll continue to take strong action,” says Shea. They’re focusing on those seeking to use offshore accounts and other means to cut down on their taxes.
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Since 2006, the number of audit positions in the CRA’s International Audit Program has increased by approximately 40%. In addition, the number of audit positions in the CRA’s Aggressive Tax Planning Program has nearly doubled.
The International Audit Program fulfills its mandate through the use of education, intelligence gathering and audits. The role of the Aggressive Tax Planning Program is to cut down on the use of tax havens and international transactions.
Further measures to monitor tax evasion include:
- the launch of a new Stop International Tax Evasion Program that allows the CRA to pay individuals with tips about major international tax non-compliance. They get a percentage of the federal tax collected;
- the agency now requires those who report information on international electronic funds transfers greater than $10,000 to send the data to both FINTRAC and the CRA;
- the streamlining of the judicial process that provides the CRA authorization to obtain information from third parties like banks. This measure will facilitate faster access to information on unnamed individuals for the purposes of civil actions; and
- the introducing of additional requirements for Canadian taxpayers with foreign income or properties to report more detailed information, and the extension of the amount of time the CRA has to reassess those who have not properly reported this income.