Tax havens allow rich individuals, banks and resource companies to avoid paying billions of dollars in taxes each year. It has recently been estimated that Canadian federal and provincial governments are losing up to $80 billion a year because of tax evasion. That is half our national health care spending and could fund pharmacare, childcare and free tuition. Tax havens are a major part of the overall tax evasion problem.
Support our call for action, asking Finance Minister Joe Oliver and Revenue Minister Kerry-Lynne Findlay and Members of Parliament to tackle tax havens now.
Tax havens such as the Bahamas, Panama and the Cayman Islands make it possible for resource extraction companies to shift the profits they make from the oil and minerals in poor countries to "paper subsidiaries" based in tax havens where they are subject to little or no tax. By keeping banking information secret, tax havens also help drug cartels and international crime organizations launder their ill-gotten wealth.
The developing world is an especially tragic victim of tax havens. African countries lose the equivalent of their total health care budget to tax evasion. Ten times as much money flows out of Africa in illicit capital flight than flows in as aid. Between 1980 and 2008 Africa received $50 billion in aid but lost $824 billion in illicit capital outflows.
The use of tax havens is a huge global problem, one that Canada has a common interest with other governments in fixing. But so far efforts by global leaders, such as at the G20 Summits, have failed to rein them in.
The big banks, and the super-rich have managed to beat back attempts to regulate tax havens and ensure financial transparency.
We need to push back and demand that Canada take a lead in tackling tax havens.
Send a message now to Finance Minister Joe Oliver, Revenue Minister Kerry-Lynne Findlay and to your MP asking them to Tackle Tax Havens.
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