The Canada Revenue Agency's offshore tax evasion tip line has resulted in signed contracts with more than 20 informants and more than $1 million in tax reassessments and penalties.
The tips have also resulted in audits of 218 Canadian taxpayers, some of which have been completed and some of which are still being conducted.
However, the tax agency has yet to pay out a cent in reward money to any of its informants. Under the rules of the program, the CRA only pays out the reward of between five and 15 per cent once the additional tax flagged by the informant is collected.
The former Conservative government introduced the Offshore Tax Informant Program (OTIP) in January 2014 in an attempt to fight offshore tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance. Governments around the world have found themselves under pressure to curb offshore tax evasion following high-profile leaks of offshore tax records such as the Panama Papers and banking records from Liechtenstein that have shed light on the extent of the money involved.
Under the program, someone who wants to blow the whistle on offshore tax evasion contacts the CRA. The CRA then evaluates the merits of the case and sends it to an oversight committee of senior management. If the committee approves, the CRA signs a contract with the informant. (more...)