The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is set to take action against offshore tax evaders with yet another revelation of dodgy financial records in the ‘Paradise Papers’ that contain an alarming 13.4 million leaked records. The papers revealed the way the wealthy escape taxes by stashing their money in offshore tax havens.
Almost preempting the revelation of the Paradise Papers, CRA issued a statement last Friday, in which the agency highlighted its efforts in taking action against tax evasion, heightened with the leak of the infamous Panama Papers in April, 2016.
The agency added that it had invested $1 billion to grapple with this problem and had 42 ongoing criminal investigations related to offshore accounts. It also established that “In the event that further details come to light, CRA will not hesitate to investigate and take further action as warranted,”
Some of the names that surfaced in the records include the former as well as current chief fundraisers for the federal liberal party. While offshore accounts are used as legal option to alleviate the tax burden worldwide, the anonymity provided to the account holders has established possible connections with tax evasion and money laundering.
Spokesman for National Revenue Minister Diane Lebouthillier spoke in the wake of the recent revelations, stating that “the CRA is reviewing links to Canadian entities and will take appropriate action in regards to the Paradise Papers.”
Stephen Bronfman, a close friend of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau came under fire with records suggesting links to an offshore account that may have used murky ways to evade millions in taxes.
Andrew Scheer, conservative leader also spoke in regards to the Paradise Leaks, blaming Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and calling out his inability to eliminate the tax evasion schemes employed by his “wealthy friends”. He further added the Prime Minister’s “well connected Liberal friends” got away with paying less which is not “fair”.
Benjamin Diaz started working for Debate Report in 2017. Ben grew up in a small town in northern Ontario. He studied chemistry in college, graduated, and married his wife a year later. Benhas been a proud Torontonian for the past 10 years. He covers politics and the economy. Previously he wrote for CTV News and the Huffington Post Canada.