Canadian tax haven spending revealed

After the Panama Papers controversy, new statistics are revealed on 10 overseas tax havens

After several Canadians were linked to the Panama Papers controversy, new statistics have been revealed showing just how much corporate Canada is spending in its top 10 tax havens.

Statistics Canada has revealed new figures on direct foreign investment, reported on by The Canadian Press, highlighting that Canadian corporations invested close to $40 billion last year in the leading tax haven destinations – a rise of 17 per cent. Indeed total investments since 1990 now stand at $270.2 billion.
So where are the leading destinations?

Barbados attracts the most money – some $79.9 billion from Canada. This represents a leap of 14 per cent compared to the previous year. Meanwhile, four other countries in the top 10 – namely Hong Kong, Switzerland, Bermuda and the Cayman Islands – saw leaps of at least 34 per cent during 2015 suggesting that the idea of using tax havens has become increasingly popular.

Speaking to The Canadian Press, Dennis Howlett, the CEO of the Tax Fairness Advocacy Group, commented that the money usually moves somewhere else but is routed through tax havens “because there are tax advantages for doing so. The returns on investments get booked in the tax havens so then companies don’t have to report it as profits in Canada.”

The figures focus purely on corporate Canada and do not represent the billions of dollars stored away offshore by individual Canadians.
Currently, the parliamentary budget office is locked in a battle with the government over its access to tax information as it attempts to measure the level of revenue lost via tax dodges.