Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Federal Revenue Agency Targets $2.6B in Missing Taxes over Five Years

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Federal Revenue Agency Targets $2.6B in Missing Taxes over Five Years

Article excerpt

Feds say they will recoup $2.6B in five years

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OTTAWA - The Canada Revenue Agency is boosting its efforts to hunt down tax dodgers -- including those who shelter cash offshore -- under an expanded plan expected to recoup $2.6 billion in unpaid taxes over the next five years.

The agency shared some specifics Monday on how it will improve detection, auditing and prosecution of tax cheaters with help from a five-year, $444-million government commitment -- an investment nearly one-sixth of the anticipated return.

"We really want to put the axe into everything that touches tax evasion," Revenue Minister Diane Lebouthillier told a news conference.

"There are people today, I imagine, who must be nervous."

Details of the agency's plan follow media reports on the so-called Panama Papers, a leak of 11.5 million records from a Panamanian law firm that shed light on the use of offshore tax havens around the world.

The extra government funding to fight tax evaders was announced in last month's budget.

Under the plan, Ottawa will intensify its detection work abroad by examining all international funds transfers over $10,000 to and from Canada. So far, the agency said it has already collected information on all such exchanges since January 2015.

The agency will also zero in on four selected international jurisdictions this year for deeper scrutiny.

The first on the list is the Isle of Man, which saw $860 million worth of electronic transfers with Canada over a 12-month period. The agency said it has assessed the risk for all 3,000 transactions involving about 350 individual taxpayers and 400 companies.

Lebouthillier declined to release the names of the other three jurisdictions that will go under the microscope. She said she didn't want to tip off tax dodgers and give them the opportunity to transfer their offshore assets to avoid being caught.

The agency will also launch a special program aimed at stopping groups that create and promote tax evasion and tax avoidance schemes for the wealthy. …

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