Saturday, June 18, 2016

Canada willingly makes tax deals with tax havens

Joe Who?
The seeds of Canadian corporations hiding billions of dollars in offshore tax havens were sewn more than 40 years ago, after the Canadian government pursued a series of tax treaties with tiny Caribbean and European nations.

The 92 tax treaties now signed with countries such as Barbados, Jamaica and Malta currently translate into billions of dollars moving out of Canada — nearly all tax free. This includes 22 tax information exchange agreements, where the sharing of tax information is intended to weed out evaders.

Consider this: From 1988 to 2001, Canadian direct investment in Barbados increased from $628 million to $23.3 billion, more than 3,600 per cent, according to Alain Deneault, a professor at the Université de Montréal.

In 2015, Canadian corporations held $79.9 billion in assets in Barbados, according to Statistics Canada. That makes Barbados the third most popular place for Canadian businesses to invest, directly behind the United States and the United Kingdom.

For the last several months, the Toronto Star has worked alongside the Canadian Broadcasting Corp., examining the Panama Papers, an unprecedented dump of 11.5 million documents that detail secret, off-shore accounts and deal-making among some of the world’s wealthiest people.

Those documents led the Star and the CBC to probe a deeper question: Why has the government of Canada sanctioned treaties and agreements between us and known tax haven nations, deals that have robbed the Canadian public purse of billions in tax revenue?  (more...)



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