Government of Canada participates in meeting of tax administrations to share findings on Panama Papers

January 20, 2017                       Ottawa              Canada Revenue Agency

Hard-working Canadians who pay their taxes to support the social programs that benefit all Canadians are tired of seeing certain wealthy individuals and large corporations not pay their part. This is not fair and has to change.

The Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of National Revenue, today highlighted that Canada is taking action and working in partnership with tax authorities world-wide to unmask and identify the structures used for international aggressive tax avoidance and evasion.

In a meeting on January 16 and 17, 2017, the Joint International Taskforce on Shared Intelligence and Collaboration Network (JITSIC), a network of over 35 tax administrations, met again in response to the Panama Papers leak and the role of law firm Mossack Fonseca. The meeting included the largest simultaneous exchange of information under tax treaties.

Globally, due to the efforts of JITSIC partners, important progress has been made with over 1,700 reviews and audits initiated, over 2,550 requests for information, and a target list of 100 intermediaries has been identified for further review. In Canada, over 76 taxpayer audits in relation to the Panama Papers are underway and extensive data is currently being reviewed. In addition to these audits, the Agency has executed search warrants and criminal investigations are ongoing.

At this week’s meeting, JITSIC partners agreed to pool information on key intermediaries from domestic efforts such as data analytics, voluntary disclosures, interviews with taxpayers, and other documentation, all in accordance with the legal agreements that allow for the exchange of information.

Today’s announcement reiterates the Government of Canada’s commitment to continue its domestic efforts, as well as to work with international partners, to crack down on aggressive tax avoidance and tax evasion at home and around the world. Canadians are invited to do their part and contribute to combatting aggressive tax avoidance and tax evasion, by reporting suspected cases of international tax cheating through the Offshore Tax Informant Program (OTIP).