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Credit Suisse Fights Canadian Court Order

by Mike Godfrey, Tax-News.com, Washington

24 November 2010


A court order requiring Credit Suisse to hand over 500 boxes of records to the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) is being challenged by the banking giant.

Following an investigation by CBC News and the Toronto Globe and Mail it has been revealed that the bank is seeking to overturn a judicial order obtained by the CRA to hand over all of its archived records as the tax department seeks to build evidence about a certain client accused of tax evasion.

In seeking to have the order overturned, Credit Suisse maintains that the ruling is “inordinately broad”, and that the CRA should only be permitted access to client records where it has firm evidence. A statement from the bank said: “Canadian law requires certain conditions to be met before CRA can issue such a request and we do not believe that those legal conditions have been satisfied. Furthermore, we are very concerned about the personal and financial privacy interests of our clients.”

The CRA investigation is being compared to the 2008 Federal Court of Appeal case, where it was upheld that online auction company eBay must declare personal details of sellers whose transaction levels reached specific thresholds. The CRA stated at the time that if it found that individuals or businesses were failing to comply with tax laws it would take “any necessary action”.

The deadline for the CRA to oppose the application by Credit Suisse is November 27.

TAGS: individuals | court | tax | business | offshore confidentiality | interest | law | banking | enforcement | offshore | legislation | offshore banking | asset protection | Canada

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