The G8 will learn about a template devised by the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development to globalize tax collection. This will include measures such as transparency, sanctions and sharing agreements between governments.
An estimated $32-trillion is hidden offshore, or two U.S.-sized economies, socked away in numbered or secret accounts in a variety of dirty money capitals. And Canada is being accused of reluctance when it comes to getting information from its banks then sharing it with other governments.
According to a story in The Post this week, tax watchdog groups claim that Canada is resisting Cameron’s efforts to force governments to exchange tax information about known cheats. He also wants governments to collect information from financial institutions about foreign-sourced income and give that information to the foreign countries where the income was made so they know about it and can tax it.
Currently, Canadian laws are lax. Offshore assets must be reported, but the CRA doesn’t pursue leads as aggressively as do the Europeans or Americans. There has been some movement, but Cameron wants more. Under pressure, Ottawa set up a “swat” team to pursue offshore evaders, now requires reporting of offshore transactions of more than $10,000, offers modest whistleblower rewards and just announced that resource companies must report all payments to foreign governments. Resistance is due to the fact that the Canadian banks are a powerful lobby here, but Canadians who pay taxes deserve better management of tax collection.