The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is requesting the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists reveal the names of Canadians who hold an offshore bank account.
The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists announced on April 4 it had acquired 2.5 million digital files relating to more than 120,000 offshore companies and trusts and almost 130,000 individuals. The CBC, which says it worked with the consortium, has reported the files contain information for 450 Canadians.
“We call on The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists to hand over this list to allow our government to crack down on tax evaders,” said Federal Revenue Mister Gail Shea in a statement.
The CRA says it is consulting other jurisdictions and working to obtain the information. It hopes to review all information it receives and aggressively pursue all suspected cases of tax avoidance and evasion.
Combatting international tax evasion is essential to maintaining the integrity of the tax system, the CRA says. The agency is assuring Canadians that is working diligently to identify, prevent, and take action on any credible information provided.
Failure to report income from domestic or foreign sources is illegal. The CRA actively pursues cases of non-compliance. Tax evasion and avoidance can lead to penalties, interest, fines, and jail time.
If anyone has information on suspected cases of tax avoidance or evasion, the CRA is encouraging Canadians to contact the agency through its “informant leads program”, either by phone at 1-866-809-6841 or over the Internet at www.cra-arc.gc.ca/gncy/nvstgtns/lds/menu-eng.html.
Individuals can also correct their own tax affairs through the use of the CRA’s voluntary disclosure program, which can be viewed at www.cra-arc.gc.ca/gncy/nvstgtns/vdp-eng.html.
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