Tax Fairness Blog

Paying Your Taxes is Political Crap? Game on, Apple

Wealthy multinationals are getting a reality check. They are waking up to a world no longer willing to look the other way while they play the tax dodging game.

The most powerful example is the recent European Commission ruling that Apple owes Ireland $19 billion in unpaid taxes. The tax dispute was the result of the Irish government making a sweetheart deal with Apple that has lasted more than a decade. The money is to be paid to Ireland – a small country of 4.6 million, which could afford to pay every man, woman, and child over $4,000 each.

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Who Sets Tax Rules? Elected Governments or Corporations?

Could the situation be more perverse? The world's richest company enjoys generous, possibly illegal corporate aid from the Irish government, while Ireland's youth unemployment rate is 18 per cent and waitlists for health care soar.   And it is a scenario that plays out all over the world.  This stark reality is the subject of an insightful blog from Canadian economist Armine Yalnizyan. 

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Modernizing Canada's Tax System: Some Thoughts for Labour

Unions have often called for increasing corporate taxes as a primary way to raise revenue. But in this recent blog originally published in OntarioNewsWatch,  Brad James suggests closing loopholes and tax dodging as a primary goal.  James heads the organizing department for the United Steelworkers.  But the opinion expressed below is his personal take. You can follow him on Twitter @jamesbrad263

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A Heck of a Way to Fix A Tax System

Earlier this month Canada's Parliamentary Finance Committee decided to gag both itself and expert witnesses. That happened when a KPMG lawyer wrote them a letter warning them not to refer to a tax haven scheme long under investigation. That backtrack didn't help the crisis of public confidence in Canada’s tax system. Former senior public servant Alan Freeman explores the strange state of affairs that is plaguing how Canadians perceive the tax system.

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Time for Accounting Industry to Reset Their Moral Compass

What do recent revelations about Panama, the Isle of Man and other taxdodging schemes say about the accounting profession? Accountant and business ethics professor Paul Dunn says it is time for the accounting industry to take a good long look at itself - what it is now and what it could be.  

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How Canada Fell Short at Global Corruption Summit

Canada is a good place to incorporate an anonymous shell company. The Panama Papers leak revealed that this is exactly how Mossack Fonseca marketed Canada to its clients, reinforcing a recent academic study that found that Canada was one of the easiest countries in which to register a company without proper identification.

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The KPMG Hearings: How MPs Tip Toe Around Tax Guys

In a pre-emptive move, Royal Bank of Canada has agreed to give the Canada Revenue Agency records on hundreds of its clients revealed in the Panama Papers. The files stretch out over 40 years of RBC’s involvement in Panama.

This is good news – but here’s a backstory to consider: It wasn’t a decision RBC took simply because it was the right thing to do. The Canada Revenue Agency went to the Federal Court with a motion to get those files. CRA argued that it needed to investigate whether the 429 offshore companies RBC set up or handled in Panama through Mossack Fonseca had been used to evade tax. It also came days before the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists releases a list of Canadian offshore companies registered in Panama, as well as the names of shareholders and directors.

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