Are Americans abusing virtual currencies?

June 11, 2013 | Last updated on September 15, 2023
2 min read

Forget tax havens. There’s now a new way to escape the taxman.

As Financial Times reports, U.S. officials aren’t happy about virtual currencies since they suspect Americans use them to evade taxes.

It adds these currencies include Bitcoin, along with digital businesses like Costa Rica’s Liberty Reserve. Read more.

In related news, the Minister of National Revenue Gail Shea has announced the Canada Revenue Agency recently received information from international allies about Canadians with assets offshore.

“Our Government takes the abuse of Canada’s tax laws seriously,” says Shea. “We have reached out to key international partners and have been working to obtain this data in accordance with our tax treaties.”

The CRA says the data obtained is voluminous and requires substantial review that’s currently underway.

On May 9, 2013, tax commissioners from Australia, the United Kingdom, and the U.S. also announced they’d obtained data exposing cases of potential tax evasion. Shea secured a commitment that information relevant to Canada stemming from this data would be shared.

The Harper Government is taking strong action to tackle international tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance. Key enforcement measures proposed in Economic Action Plan 2013 include: the Stop International Tax Evasion Program; the mandatory reporting of international electronic funds transfers over $10,000; new reporting requirements for Canadian taxpayers with foreign income or properties; and streamlining the judicial process that authorizes the CRA to obtain information from third parties.


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