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Canada Announces New Anti-Avoidance Funding

by Mike Godfrey,, Washington

10 May 2013

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is to benefit from an additional CAD30m (USD29.9m) in Government funding over the next five years. The money will be used as part of the CRA's crack down on international tax evasion and "aggressive" tax avoidance practices.

CAD15m will be provided through Finance Minister Jim Flaherty's 2013 Budget, which set out plans to increase the CRA's information gathering and oversight powers. All financial institutions currently reporting information on international electronic fund transfers greater than CAD10,000 (USD) to the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC) will in future need to report these transactions to the CRA. The funding will go towards establishing the necessary systems for this initiative.

A further CAD15m in re-allocated funds will help bring in new audit and compliance resources. These resources will be dedicated exclusively to any international compliance issues and revenue collections that arise from the Budget's anti-avoidance measures. The CRA will be permitted to pay individuals with knowledge of major international tax non-compliance a percentage of the tax collected as a result of the information provided, while Canadian taxpayers with overseas income or properties will be required to report more information.

A dedicated team of CRA experts will be responsible for implementing Budget changes. According to the Finance Department, the team "will ensure that the full force of the agency's international compliance and auditing resources are brought to bear on individuals or businesses seeking to hide money or assets offshore."

Making the announcement, Maxime Bernier, Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism), said: "Our Government is providing the CRA with further resources to ensure our tax system remains fair for Canadians who work hard and play by the rules. These new measures will provide additional tools to combat international tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance, and improve the integrity of the tax system."

TAGS: individuals | compliance | Finance | tax | business | tax compliance | tax avoidance | tax incentives | revenue guidance | budget | audit | ministry of finance | tax authority | offshore | tax planning | Canada | revenue statistics | tax reform

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