OTTAWA –Today, NDP Finance Critic and Deputy Critic, Pierre-Luc Dusseault (Sherbrooke) and Peter Julian (New Westminster – Burnaby), reacted to a report from the Parliamentary Budget Officer that estimated the cost of the government’s failure to reduce overseas tax evasion. The MPs called on all parties to add the NDP’s proposals to crack down on tax evasion to their election platforms.
“The PBO report shows that we have, at bare minimum, $1.6 trillion dollars leaving the country each year, and that we may be losing $40 billion dollars in tax revenue annually,” said Dusseault. “In four years, the government has not implemented any meaningful measures to stop this, or even to better understand the flow of money. An NDP government will crack down on the abusive transactions used by the wealthy to hide their money in shell companies overseas.”
Earlier this week, the CRA reported that corporations likely avoided paying $11.4 billion in taxes in 2014. The PBO report shows a more serious picture that includes massive sums of corporate money flowing to small countries known for being tax havens, including $47.6 billion transferred from Canada to the small European country of Luxembourg in 2016. The report also shows that in 2018, Canadian corporations transferred $157.7 billion to Singapore, while Singapore only transferred $35.9 billion to Canada.
“The Parliamentary Budget Officer has shown that the $11.4 billion reported by the CRA is very likely only the tip of the iceberg. The difference between what our tax revenue is, and what it could be, is called the ‘tax gap’. The PBO report shows we don’t have a tax gap, we have a tax chasm,” said Julian. “Child care, affordable housing, renewable energy…It’s staggering what we could fund if this Liberal government was taking this issue seriously. We must create a publicly-accessible registry of ownership information for federally incorporated corporations and shine a light on the tax evasion we know is taking place.”
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