The World is Shrinking: CRA STRATEGIES ON OFFSHORE TAX EVASION

A recent article reported that CRA is reviewing every electronic fund transfer over $10,000 from Canada to four foreign jurisdictions per year. The first two targets were the Isle of Man and the Island of Guernsey, with two more undisclosed jurisdictions to be reviewed by March 31, 2017. CRA has started audits of 166 high-risk taxpayers and sent over 1,000 “nudge” letters to lower risk taxpayers. For 2017-2018, CRA plans on reviewing about 100,000 fund transfers to four other undisclosed jurisdictions.

The article also noted that the Offshore Tax Informant Program received over 3,000 tips as of October 31, resulting in almost 200 audits and 124 active files under review.

In addition to these activities, a November 14, 2016 Huffington Post article indicated CRA identified 2,600 documents with a Canadian link, opened 85 investigations into Canadians, and has commenced 60 audits with respect to the Panama Papers.

Action Item: If transferring funds offshore, retain appropriate documentation in case of CRA review.

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