Canada taxman makes move on Panama Papers

Minister of National Revenue issues instructions to officials following huge offshore controversy

After news broke of various Canadians being named in the Panama Papers controversy there has been little hesitation among tax collectors in the country.

According to a report at the Toronto Star, Revenue Minister Diane Lebouthillier quickly urged officials from the Canada Revenue Agency to get their hands on the information contained within the papers. Speaking to the publication, spokeswoman Chloe Luciani-Girouard commented that the Minister “has instructed CRA officials to obtain the list of data leaked through Panama Papers in order to cross-reference this information with data already being obtained through the agency’s existing mechanisms.”

The spokeswoman claimed that the Minister was following the documents “very closely” as the agency remains “committed to combating the abusive use of offshore jurisdictions”.

According to reports, there are around 350 Canadians listed in the database and while there is no law against having foreign investments it is necessary for Canadians to report any income they earn outside the country with the Canada Revenue Agency.

The spokeswoman claimed that the agency has been collecting information on all international fund transfers that surpass $10,000 and that it selects the taxpayers deemed to be the “highest risk” in order to carry out reviews and audits.

However, despite the spokeswoman’s claims that the agency has had success in correcting non-compliance, Senator Percy Downe told the publication that Canada’s problem with tax evasion overseas is actually “massive” and is no longer just a problem among the wealthy as it is now popular among the upper middle classes too.

What are your thoughts on the Panama Papers controversy and the involvement of many Canadians? Leave a comment below with your thoughts.