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Committee Reports On Canadian Anti-Avoidance Initiatives

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

A committee of Canadian lawmakers has released a study of tax evasion and the use of so-called tax havens that it says can form a basis for new measures to tackle such activities.

The House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance resumed its study of tax evasion and international tax planning last year, examining the use of offshore accounts, the efforts made by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) to recover unpaid tax, and the Government's strategy for combatting tax evasion. It held 14 meetings for the study, and heard from 26 organizations and 10 individuals.

The Committee's report contains the following 11 recommendations:

  • That the federal Government continues to pursue tax information exchange agreements with appropriate countries.
  • That the federal Government provides the Revenue Minister with more authority to obtain business identification information.
  • That the federal Government follows up on the Budget 2013 proposal to establish a whistle-blower program that enables the CRA to reward individuals for information on non-compliance.
  • That the federal Government requires all entities obliged to report under money laundering legislation to obtain information about the beneficial ownership of customers that are corporations, trusts, or other entities.
  • That the federal Government continues to support the G20 finance ministers and central bank governors in their efforts to develop measures to address base erosion and profit shifting.
  • That the federal Government continues to encourage all jurisdictions to sign the multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters and to support the work of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes.
  • That the federal Government ensures the clear messaging of ongoing efforts to ensure fairness and transparency in the tax system.
  • That the federal Government continues to examine proposals to improve the caseload management of the Tax Court of Canada.
  • That the CRA commits to applying the General Anti-Avoidance Rule to aggressive international tax planning.
  • That the federal Government creates an efficient system for identifying and closing tax loopholes.
  • That the CRA extends the time period during which the names of those convicted of either tax evasion or a failure to file are listed on its website, from six months to one year.

Committee chair James Rajotte commented: "This report has given the Committee an opportunity to learn about aggressive tax planning and tax evasion in both the domestic and international contexts. I am pleased that our Committee's study of tax evasion and the use of tax havens, and the subsequent report and its recommendations, can form the basis for new measures to prevent aggressive tax planning and tax evasion."

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The Report

Offshore Trusts Guide: Introduction

The History of Offshore Trusts
Development of Professional Competence in the Jurisdictions
What Future for the Trust?
The New Age of Transparency
The Swiss Association of Trust Companies
The Society of Trusts and Estates Practitioners

Offshore Trusts Guide: Jurisdictions

Bahamas

Bahamas: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Bahamas: 2006 Private Trust Companies Legislation

Barbados

Barbados: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Barbados: Supervisory and Licensing Regime and Fees

Bermuda

Bermuda: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Bermuda: Supervisory and Licensing Regime and Fees

British Virgin Islands

British Virgin Islands: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
British Virgin Islands: Special Trusts Act 2003
British Virgin Islands: The Trustee Act 2003
British Virgin Islands: :Supervisory and Licensing Regime and Fees
British Virgin Islands: New Laws on Private Trust Companies
British Virgin Islands: New Private Trust Company Regulations

Cayman Islands

Cayman Islands: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Cayman Islands: Supervisory and Licensing Regime and Fees

Cook Islands

Cook Islands: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Cook Islands: Supervisory and Licensing Regime and Fees

Cyprus

Cyprus: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Cyprus: Supervision, Licensing and Tax

Gibraltar

Gibraltar: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Gibraltar: Legislation, Regulation and Supervision

Guernsey

Guernsey: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Guernsey: Trusts Law 2007

Isle of Man

Isle of Man: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Isle of Man: Supervisory and Licensing Regime
Isle of Man: Uses Clients and Tax Treatment

Jersey

Jersey: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Jersey: Supervisory and Licensing Regime
Jersey: Trusts Amendment Act 2006
Jersey: Foundations

Liechtenstein

Liechtenstein: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Liechtenstein: Regulation Supervision and Transparency
Liechtenstein: Characteristics of Liechtenstein Trusts
Liechtenstein: Foundations

Madeira

Madeira: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees

Malta

Malta: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Malta: The Trust and Trustees Act 2004

Mauritius

Mauritius: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Mauritius: Characteristics of the 2001 Trusts Act
Mauritius: Additional Provisions of the 2001 Trusts Act
Mauritius: Tax Treatment

Monaco

Monaco: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees

Nevis

Nevis: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees

Panama

Panama: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Panama: Requirements for Acting as Trust Company in Panama

Seychelles

Seychelles: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees

Turks & Caicos

Turks & Caicos: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Turks & Caicos: The Voidable Dispositions Ordinance

Vanuatu

Vanuatu Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees




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