Tax avoidance: the NDP calls for a special committee and castigates the Liberals

The NDP is calling for the creation of a special parliamentary committee to look into tax avoidance and evasion, a recurring problem that causes the public treasury to lose between $18.

Tax avoidance: the NDP calls for a special committee and castigates the Liberals

The NDP is calling for the creation of a special parliamentary committee to look into tax avoidance and evasion, a recurring problem that causes the public treasury to lose between $18.1 and $23.4 billion a year.

These are amounts calculated after collection work done by Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) staff, with gross losses of between $35.1 billion and $40.4 billion for the year alone. 2018, recently reported the Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO).

The special committee would examine in particular tax loopholes and the possibility of granting greater powers to the CRA to find and penalize the wrongdoers.

“Liberals are letting the wealthiest Canadians get away with not paying their fair share of taxes,” Niki Ashton, NDP Tax Fairness and Inequality Critic, slammed.

“The richest use Canada as a tax haven. This must stop.”

Ms Ashton took the KPMG dossier as an example of the government's softness.

The CRA has terminated a years-long investigation into the actions of this major accounting firm, which is suspected of helping its wealthiest clients hide part of their assets in the Isle of Man to avoid paying tax.

The Liberal government finally gave up pursuing the firm.

“As our workers struggle to get by, they watch with outrage as the government panders to the wishes of big business and billionaires,” said the MP.

The PBO reported that the tax gap, i.e. the amount of taxes collected compared to the amount owed to them, remained stable at around 9% between 2014 and 2018.

The Bloc Québécois also denounced the situation last week.

“With such a bonanza, the government would have the means to finance health correctly without increasing its deficit. It only takes a little will on the part of Ottawa, ”denounced Jean-Denis Garon, Bloc spokesperson for Revenue.

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