Question in the House - The Tax Gap

Murray Rankin Victoria, BC

Mr. Speaker, the first step to addressing tax evasion is to figure out just how much money we are losing, which is likely millions of dollars. That is what governments that are serious about tax evasion have already done—the United States, the U.K., Australia. But the Conservatives refuse to follow suit, and when the Parliamentary Budget Officer is asked to run the numbers for Parliament, the Conservatives even refuse to release to him the data he needs to do his job.

What is the government trying to hide? Why will it not release the data we need to take action on tax evasion?

Gail Shea Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, in a recent appearance at the finance committee, even the OECD acknowledged that the tax gap is almost impossible to calculate. That is why the OECD says that all countries should have robust auditing, and that is exactly what we are doing. Our record speaks for itself.

Since 2006, we have audited thousands of cases and have identified over $4.5 billion of unpaid tax. This compares to a mere $174 million in the last year of the Liberal government.