...And Speaking of Billions in Uncollected Taxes

The House of Commons Committee studying tax havens is releasing its report this afternoon.

Will the report set Canada on the right course to deal with billions of dollars that go untaxed every year?

Here are some key things to look for:

- A Tax Gap Estimate.   The Government currently has no mechanism to calculate  the difference between revenue it ought to be able to collect and what is actually collected.  Half the countries in OECD have developed such a formula. It helps them determine how to implement collection and investigative strategies.  

- Increased Resources for the Canada Revenue Agency.  As the Auditor General pointed out in his Spring 2013 Report, it seems to be taking the CRA a long time to modernize the way it operates.  This is particularly startling in dealing with sophisticated offshore schemes. At the very least the Government needs to increase funding for the number of auditors in the international section.

-Automatic Tax Information Exchange.  The tax haven problem is global and complex. But the G20 has already supported the implementation of such an automatic system.  And Canada will need to be onside when Finance Minister Jim Flaherty attends the upcoming G8 meeting later this summer.