Question in the House - CRA cuts won't help to catch tax cheats

Murray Rankin Victoria, BC

Mr. Speaker, today's last minute announcement does not change the fact that they cut $250 million from the CRA's budget and are getting rid of over 2,500 talented tax professionals.

The government wrote off $2.8 billion in tax debt last year alone. That is over $13 billion that they have written off since they took power. Meanwhile, they are cutting $68 million from the CRA's accounts receivable and returns compliance department.

When are they going to reverse those cuts? When are they going to show real action on tax cheats?

Gail Shea Minister of National Revenue and Minister for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Mr. Speaker, since 2006, our government has introduced over 75 measures to improve the integrity of the tax system.

We have increased the size of our international audit program by roughly 40%. Since 2006, more than $4 billion in unpaid taxes have been identified. That is compared to just $174 million during the last year of the Liberals.

The efficiencies identified in budget 2013 apply only to internal operations and will not affect CRA's audit or enforcement capabilities.