CRA to CBC: Give us offshore tax cheat data

By Staff | April 12, 2013 | Last updated on April 12, 2013
2 min read

Andrew Treusch, commissioner and chief executive officer of the Canada Revenue Agency, today sent the following letter to Hubert Lacroix, president and chief executive officer of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

Dear Mr. Lacroix:

I am writing in regard to the CBC’s recent coverage of offshore tax havens. It is my understanding that a leak of large amounts of data potentially exposing cases of offshore aggressive tax avoidance and possibly tax evasion is the catalyst for these stories.

Read: Leaked data reveals rich Canadians use offshore trusts

I also understand that your organization may be in possession of some or all of this data.

You will know that the Canada Revenue Agency has already been in touch with your organization to underscore the importance of this information to our continuing efforts on behalf of Canadians to combat offshore aggressive tax avoidance and evasion.

Read: CRA cracks down on tax evasion

I would expect that both the CBC and you, as its president and CEO, have an interest in ensuring that appropriate action is taken if individuals are not respecting their tax obligations. Taking action against individuals who are not respecting their tax obligations is in the best interest of the public and law abiding Canadians. The provision of the data that your organization has in its possession would allow the CRA to pursue cases where this is occurring without in any way infringing on your journalistic mandate.

Read: Wealthy hide $21 trillion in offshore accounts

I again respectfully request that you provide to the Canada Revenue Agency all of the data the CBC received through its collaboration with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists so that the Agency may review and take action according to its mandate. I understand that the CBC is reluctant to provide this data, citing concerns with journalistic independence and protecting sources. I can assure you that the Canada Revenue Agency has not asked for the source of the information and will treat any information you provide with strict confidentiality in the same manner it treats all taxpayer information it receives.

I sincerely hope that you will respond positively to this request and agree to provide this information so that the CRA can carry out its responsibilities.

I look forward to your reply.

Read: The final word on offshore trusts staff


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