Update: From a CBC exclusive: "Senior enforcement officials from the Canada Revenue Agency were treated to private receptions at an exclusive Ottawa club, hosted by a small group of influential tax accountants that included personnel from KPMG— even as the firm was facing a CRA probe for running a $130-million tax dodge in the Isle of Man."
After the release of the Panama Papers, the Trudeau Government committed to stronger enforcement to make sure companies pay their share of taxes. And yet revenue flowing offshore is at an all time high - tax havens now hold at least $270B of Canadian corporate money, mostly untaxed.
What’s the big takeaway from the shocking drop of the Panama Papers? That there is a set of tax rules for the wealthy elite -- and another for the rest of us.
Our biggest bank, The Royal Bank (RBC), set up at least 378 offshore corporations to help clients skirt millions in taxes. Meanwhile, the global accounting giant KPMG is under investigation for setting up shell corporations in tax-free jurisdictions. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
With the high-profile resignation of Iceland's Prime Minister this week and the UK Prime Minister’s admission that he had a stake in his father's offshore company, it's clear this infuriating scandal runs deep. Across the world, our message is clear: we are tired of being ripped off by the rich and the powerful.
Right now, the Canadian government can prove that it is taking this issue seriously by regulating the financial services industry. If thousands of us tell Justin Trudeau to clamp down on these dodgy tax havens, then he’ll be left no choice but to act.
Tell Prime Minister Justin Trudeau: clamp down on tax havens, and stop the abuse of our tax system.
The Panama Papers is the biggest leak in history. A team of journalists from around the globe have been working for at least a year to make sure these 11.5 million files are seen by the public. It’s a global scandal of epic proportions starting with the database of Mossack Fonseca, the world’s fourth biggest offshore law firm. And Canada’s right at the heart of it.
The amount of Canadian money flowing to the top ten tax havens worldwide grew to nearly $200 billion in 2014. That’s billions of lost tax revenue - enough to introduce national child care, create a real transformation to clean energy, and make tuition free for every Canadian.
Offshore tax arrangements are destroying the fabric of our country. When big companies and the wealthy don’t pay their fair share of taxes, we lose out on basic public services like healthcare, schools and hospitals -- and we end up shouldering the burden. No, offshore companies aren’t illegal. But the Papers show that the vast majority are dodgy: they are being used to hide assets from tax authorities, thwart investigations, and protect criminal behaviour. There aren’t many honourable reasons to park your cash offshore, so it’s time our government acted.
If there’s a fight our community should be involved in, it is this. The SumOfUs community is millions strong, and exists to fight for people over profits. We can add our voices to the growing outrage from organizations like Canadians for Tax Fairness and LeadNow, and create the momentum we need for change.
Will you join us? Sign the petition to Justin Trudeau: regulate offshore companies now and make them pay tax in Canada.