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The Canadian Government has said that it will review its tax ruling process and voluntary disclosures program as part of its response to recommendations made last year by a parliamentary committee.
In October 2016, the Standing Committee on Finance released its report on the Canada Revenue Agency's (CRA's) efforts to tackle tax avoidance and evasion. The Government has now published its response, in which it accepted all 14 of the committee's recommendations.
As per the Government's response, the following will now take place:
Revenue Minister Diane Lebouthillier commented: "The Government of Canada is taking action to crack down on tax cheats. When some choose not to pay their share, it places an unfair burden on the tax system. We are sending another strong signal to tax cheats: that this behavior will not be tolerated and they will face the full force of the law."
"Our Government will continue to update Canadians on these important actions to ensure a tax system that is responsive, fair, and meets the needs of all Canadians."
Between April 1, 2011, and March 31, 2016, 42 taxpayers were convicted of having engaged in offshore tax evasion, in cases involving CAD34m (USD25.97m) in evaded federal taxes, CAD12m in court fines, and 734 months of jail time.
The CRA is currently conducting audits of more than 820 taxpayers and criminally investigating 20 cases of tax evasion related to offshore accounts.
Audits of the highest risk taxpayers for four offshore jurisdictions are underway. The first two jurisdictions targeted were the Isle of Man and Guernsey, but the CRA cannot name the other two at present. So far, a total of 41,000 international financial transactions, equalling over CAD12bn, have been analyzed.
The CRA expects that it will recover CAD13bn from its audit efforts this fiscal year.
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