Saturday, July 30, 2016

Seedy Canadians hiding cash in offshore banks, beware: the CRA is coming

The Caymans could be losing their lustre as a safe haven for Canadian millionaires to stash their funds.

This week, the Royal Bank of Canada and Citibank, N.A. both agreed to hand over seven years of account information between Canadian residents and the Cayman National Bank.

The Canada Revenue Agency has given the banks 120 days to pass off the info, which includes statements, deposit slips, cheques, bank drafts and wire transfer orders, and plans to rake through it for signs of Canadians stashing taxable income in accounts on the Caribbean island.

Canadian lawyer Martin Kenney, one of the world’s leading authorities on international fraud and asset recovery, told Yahoo Canada Finance that the aggressive campaign against tax evasion is likely inspired by President Obama’s signing of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act south of the border. FATCA requires offshore banks to report data of U.S. taxpayers with accounts as a condition of being able to access U.S. dollar wire system in New York.

“The Canadian authorities realized these investigative tools are out there and they’re requiring Canadian banks to begin to turn over the same data,” he explained from his corporate headquarters in the British Virgin Islands. “The tools have been available for a long time but it’s taken a while for (authorities) to understand how the system works and how to undertake investigations across national borders.”

It’s the second time the federal government has used a court order to investigate offshore tax evasion since the so-called Panama Papers leak in April which aired the dirty laundry of more than 200,000 offshore bank accounts including 625 Canadians.  (more...)


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