An anonymous source, 11 million leaked documents, and a year-long investigation effort by 400 journalists in over 80 countries have yielded the Panama Papers, an unprecedented look at how the world's rich and powerful from political leaders to celebrities to criminals, use tax havens to hide their wealth. Read on to find out how it works.
The Liberal government has caved on their campaign promise to close the stock option loophole. Too bad, because it costs Canada $1Billion a year and Canadians definitely don't get their money's worth. Among the biggest winners of the stock option loophole are Bank CEOs.
"I talked to people about this," he says. Sounds like he was talking to the wrong people.
The Finance Minister has earmarked nearly $90 million a year to fight tax evasion - a total of $440 million over five years. This signals that the government has realized how much it is losing to wealthy Canadians who shift their money offshore to avoid paying any tax at home. The budget estimates that it will collect more than $2.6 billion for its investment.
"Ramping up the Canada Revenue Agency's capacity to tackle tax havens is a smart move that can pay off. " says Dennis Howlett, Canadians for Tax Fairness executive director. "Now the CRA needs to mobilize a sophisticated campaign to target both the rich taxdodgers and the financial advisors who facilitate this trend."
The stark reality is that Canada loses billions of dollars every year because of sloppy tax policies. It is a mess that has taken decades to create. Clean up will take a lot of work.
As you might guess from recent stories about rich tax dodgers cutting deals with the government – a few super-wealthy people would like to keep things just as they are. Even if it doesn’t work for the rest of us. Finance Minister Bill Morneau's first budget will send message about how serious his govrnment takes tax fairness. Read on to see what you should keep an eye on.
CBC's Ontario Today explores the backstory of how the KPMG/CRA sweetheart deal came to hit the headlines and opened the phone lines to ordinary taxpayers for their stories.
It isn't pretty. During this 50 minute podcast there is nothing sweet about how many middle class taxpayers are treated by Canada's Revenue Agency. Host Rita Celli also talks to investigative journalist Harvey Cashore, tax lawyer Duane Milot and Canadians for Tax Fairness' Dennis Howlett and many people from across Ontario.
That's the question that won't go away after a CBC News investigation revealed that several CRA staff were angry and frustrated at their bosses' decision to offer amnesty to wealthy KPMG clients caught using an offshore tax-avoidance scheme. But bosses didn't listen when staff argued that CRA should have pursued a criminal investigation or at least tried to impose large penalties on these tax dodgers.
Tax fairness doesn't come easy. But it is a building block of a good country.
At it's best, a fair tax system gives us all an opportunity to invest in the things that we want for Canada: vibrant communities, healthy families, individual dignity and recognition as a respected global partner. When left to the influence of the very powerful, it becomes skewed in favour of those who don't understand the importance of maintaining and protecting our common values.
Canadians for Tax Fairness works to change the Canadian conversation about taxes. Take a look at our 2015 Review to see what we've accomplished.