Canadian Taxation

Appropriately managed, as intended

Published On December 4, 2013 | By Joseph (Ken) | Government, Personal tax

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I love the title of this article: Canada ‘Appropriately Managed’ Liechtenstein’s Tax Info

It’s interesting, the placement of quotes by the author of the article, in relation to statements made by the CRA.

“The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) “appropriately managed” the information it received on offshore accounts in Liechtenstein, the Office of the Auditor General has said.

“It found that, overall, the CRA had managed the list “as intended.” 

If I didn’t know better, I’d think the author was being a little sarcastic.  And I see why later in the article.

“The CRA has now completed 46 audits based on the data, with 23 *1 leading to reassessments, which generated CAD24.65m *2 (USD23.34m) in federal tax, interest, and penalties.”

“Agreements have been signed with some taxpayers, with the aim of gathering information about the structure of the investments and the details of the income earned. According to the report, these taxpayers have “agreed to give full disclosure, pay amounts owing by a stipulated date, and waive their rights to appeal.” The Agency, for its part, will “waive referrals for potential criminal investigation.”

So, on average, each audit resulted in a reassessment of $1,071,739 in tax, interest and penalties (*2 $24,650,000 / *1 23) and yet no criminal investigation…  

Let’s compare this to the Canada Revenue Agency Convictions Announcements.

In checking out British Columbia for people who got criminally charged: “Vancouver, British Columbia, September 10, 2013… The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) announced today that Randall Andrus of Vancouver, British Columbia, was sentenced yesterday in Robson Square Provincial Court after being found guilty on 9 counts of tax evasion on May, 31, 2013. He was sentenced to 2 years in jail and fined $400,000. A CRA investigation determined that Andrus failed to report $2,447,209 in business and investment income on his 1994, 1996 to 2001, 2004 and 2005 personal income tax returns. “

So here’s an example of a significant reassessment and an aggressive criminal charge.  So why no criminal charges in regards to the Liechtenstein’s tax info?

The task took approximately six years to complete.”

“The Office did nevertheless conclude that the CRA is not fully prepared for the growing workload associated with auditing projects based on such extensive informant leads. The Liechtenstein audits were the first offshore audits undertaken in this way. It recommends that the Agency “formalize and communicate its procedures to make sure that it can handle the increasing amounts of information it is receiving.”

“The CRA has agreed to do so.”

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About The Author

Joseph (Ken)
(Ken) is a Registered Public Accountant with over 25 years of public practice experience in the accounting profession. Ken specializes in accounting information systems, taxation and financial reporting.

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