'Not taking this seriously' says NDP critic
November 22nd, 2013 - 3:41pm
By Daniel Proussalidis,Parliamentary Bureau
OTTAWA — A bombshell QMI Agency investigation into just how easily Canadians can set up a tax-evading shell company has the NDP's revenue critic saying 'I told you so.'
"I've been saying, and our party has been saying, tax havens are a billion, billion-dollar problem -- between seven and eight billion, according to some estimates," Murray Rankin said Friday.
His comments follow an investigation that found almost any Canadian can hide money from the taxman by opening a bank account in a tax haven like Belize or Cyprus, keeping the cash transfers below the $10,000 threshold so as not to attract federal authorities.
Rankin says the Conservatives need to beef up efforts to chase tax cheats.
"They've got a phony little squad that's supposed to be doing the investigation," he said. "They are not taking this seriously."
The 2013 federal budget included the creation of a dedicated team to hunt down tax evasion, while in June the feds introduced new reporting requirements for those with foreign property worth more than $100,000.
Under the new rules, tax filers would have to name the foreign entity or institution holding the offshore funds, the country they're invested in, and the income that property generates.
Finance Minister Jim Flaherty was in Washington Friday for the public memorial to former U.S. president John F. Kennedy and his office did not provide comment in time for publication.