According to a CBC News report, a wealthy Victoria, B.C.family avoided paying tax on more than $26 million over a span of eight years – by signing up for a tax “product” developed by mega-accounting firm KPMG. The individuals, Peter Cooper and his two adult sons, Marshall and Richard, allegedly used a KPMG scheme in the Isle of Man that targeted "high net worth" Canadian residents, promising they would pay "no tax" on their investments. The firm also promised employees a 15 per cent commission on all tax its customers managed to avoid using the scheme.
“We’re talking about millions of dollars that an accounting firm is pulling in by helping millionaires avoid paying their fair share,” says Dennis Howlett, executive director of Canadians for Tax Fairness. KPMG sales agents and accountants were referred to as ‘champions’ if they convinced wealthy clients to participate. That’s not the kind of champion the Canadian tax system needs.”
KPMG Canada has had lucrative audit contracts helping the federal government crack down on public misspending. Yet in the Coopers' court case, it is alleged the accounting giant's Offshore Company Structure intentionally deceived the federal government. The structure "is a sham and was intended to deceive the Minister," the CRA alleges in court document.
You can read the full story here. CBC is planning to air a documentary on the case in the coming weeks.
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