MEDIA RELEASE: Canada should follow example of Denmark, France to crack down on tax havens

MEDIA RELEASE: Canada should follow example of Denmark, France to crack down on tax havens

At least $8 billion in tax revenues are lost every year to international corporate tax dodging

For Immediate Release – April 23, 2020

OTTAWA – As France, Denmark and Poland announced they will refuse COVID-19 aid for companies using tax havens, the Canadian government must do more to ensure our public funds are not spent on tax-dodging corporations.

“Canada loses at least $8 billion a year to corporate offshore tax dodging. While we need to deliver supports to workers who have been affected, Canada should take steps to ensure federal funding doesn’t pad the profits of companies and corporate executives that have avoided paying their fair share,” said Toby Sanger, director of Canadians for Tax Fairness.

France and Denmark will also introduce rules to prevent corporations that receive funding from engaging in share buybacks and issuing dividends. Canada should follow suit to make sure support goes to those who need it, and not to wealthy shareholders and executives.

Canadians for Tax Fairness has urged the federal government to take the following measures:

  • Deny funding to corporations that abuse tax havens to avoid Canadian taxes, or to numbered and anonymous companies that don’t reveal their real owners
  • Require large corporations that receive funding to publicly disclose their finances on a country by country basis
  • Publicly report details on all federal funds dispersed
  • Prohibit corporate stock buybacks, executive bonuses, golden parachutes and shareholder dividend payouts for at least one year for corporations receiving funding
  • Consider measures such as an excess profits tax to recover funds from companies that ultimately don’t need this funding
  • Proceed with measures to stop multinational corporations and wealthy individuals from exploiting tax havens to avoid Canadian taxes

“The financial toll of COVID-19 will be significant. We can’t expect Canadians to bear the brunt of this cost while allowing corporations to collect federal funding without contributing to our nation’s recovery,” Sanger said. “Earlier this month, Canada quietly marked the four-year anniversary of the Panama Papers without a single conviction. Clearly, our government can do more to bring our tax dollars home.”

Media Contact:

Erika Beauchesne, Communications Coordinator, Canadians for Tax Fairness 613-315-8679

Canadians for Tax Fairness is a non-profit organization that advocates for progressive taxes to fund important public services, reduce inequality and strengthen the economy.