Canadians for Tax Fairness: Canadian losses $10 to $15 billion a year due to tax havens

PARADISE Papers leaks from Appleby offshore law firm is much bigger than the Panama Papers and reveals details on many more Canadian companies and wealthy individuals using tax havens – over 3,300.

Based on this new data and updated estimates that over $500 billion in tax revenue is lost globally due to corporate tax dodging using tax havens, Canadians for Tax Fairness has revised its estimate of Canadian tax losses due to tax havens to between $10 to $15 billion a year – up from their previous estimate of $5 to $8 billion a year.

“This is still just the tip of the iceberg,” said Dennis Howlett, Executive Director of Canadians for Tax Fairness, on Monday. “There are more than a dozen large offshore law firms like Appleby, and many more accounting firms and financial institutions, that specialize in offshore services for large companies and high net worth individuals.”

The Canada Revenue Agency has announced that they are taking action but that will not be enough. The government needs to reform corporate tax laws to effectively curb tax haven abuse. A first step would be to support or introduce a law similar to Bill C-362, MP Murray Rankin’s private member’s bill that would require any offshore subsidiary to have ‘economic substance’ to be considered a separate legal entity, said Canadians for Tax Fairness.

“While the government has been taking action on wealthy individuals, little has been done to tackle the use of tax havens by Canadian corporations.” said Howlett, “In fact the government is facilitating corporate use of tax havens through treaties and secrecy laws like the lack of a public beneficial ownership registry.”