The Auditor General’s Fall 2018 report on compliance activities by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) confirms what we’ve heard from Canadians and from CRA professionals as well: Canada’s Revenue Agency is more lenient in many ways with international and large businesses and taxpayers with offshore transactions than they are with individual Canadians.
Like many Canadian companies, Cameco uses subsidiaries and related companies in known tax-haven countries to lower their taxes in Canada. This often-used strategy by large corporations is costing Canadians over $10 billion per year.
"Canada needs to create a publicly accessible, centralized, registry of true (e.g., beneficial) owners of companies in an open, searchable format", Canadians for Tax Fairness Executive Director, Dennis Howlett told the House of Commons Finance Committee this week.. "This is key to stopping snow washing as it would serve as a deterrent to criminals and would facilitate access to information for law enforcement, tax authorities, financial institutions, civil society, and journalists", he said.
Ottawa - Canadians for Tax Fairness calls for action on tax and gender bias
There are two problems with gender bias of the tax system – a disproportionate benefit to men at the top incomes from tax breaks; and a loss of revenues for programs that mostly benefit women at the lower incomes.
Tax loopholes are used almost exclusively by top income earners, businesses and CEOs to maximize their bottom line and pay as little tax as possible. These include the Capital Gains Deduction, Employee Stock Options Deduction, the Meals and Entertainment Deduction and the Dividend Gross-up Credit. They also use private corporations for the same purpose.
“These are not gender neutral” says Diana Gibson, Communications Director for Canadians for Tax Fairness, “Women only accounted for 22% of the top 1% of income earners, 3 out of 100 top CEOs in Canada, 15.7 percent of majority owned small and medium sized businesses.”
Victoria, B.C.: Canadians For Tax Fairness, Publish What You Pay Canada, and Transparency International Canada welcome commitments made by the B.C. Government to require that information on the true owners of B.C. properties be collected and be made public by the land registry; however, a publicly accessible registry to reveal hidden owners of companies is missing.
A public corporate registry of beneficial owners is critical for tackling money laundering, tax evasion, and other criminal activities within the province.
B.C. is certainly taking a bold step to prevent misuse of real estate by money launderers, and the commitment within the 2018 provincial budget to include beneficial ownership information within its property transfer tax form and to make it publicly accessible is much needed.