There has been heightened attention on the role of offshore tax havens by wealthy individuals and corporations seeking to reduce their tax bills using accounting methods that are often perfectly legal. Several major bank leaks of information from LGT Bank in Liechtenstein, HSBC, UBS, and, most recently, the massive Panama Papers leak, has brought a global spotlight on the way billions are diverted to tax havens. The international fallout has gotten the attention of government leaders abroad and domestically.
“We knew that tax avoidance has been a long challenge,” said Trudeau. “[The Panama Papers] is certainly extra public motivation and there are perhaps some extra tools and information that we can follow up on, but our government has long known — indeed, we got elected — on a promise to make sure that people were paying their fair share of taxes.”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau commenting on tax havens
TheStar.com, April 6, 2016
“Most middle-class Canadians pay their fair share of taxes, but some wealthy individuals avoid paying taxes by hiding their money in offshore tax shelters. This is not fair and it needs to change. These wealthy Canadians should not be able to buy their way out of paying the income tax that they owe.”
Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of National Revenue
Quote from news conference regarding action on tax avoidance & tax evasion. April 11, 2016
Note: Prime Minister’s image obtained by The Office of the Prime Minister website; Minister Lebouthillier’s image was obtained from the CRA website. Use of these images does not suggest endorsement by the Prime Minister’s Office or the Minister of National Revenue.