Liberals fail to close loopholes allowing ultra-rich to keep their wealth in tax havens

Canada's NDP issued the following press release on April 27, 2023:

OTTAWA — On Thursday, NDP Tax Fairness Critic Niki Ashton called out the Liberal government for failing to crack down on the ultra-rich who use tax havens to avoid paying what they owe in taxes.

The NDP obtained information in an Order Paper Question showing that there have been no criminal charges against ultra-rich companies and individuals named in the Pandora, Panama or the Paradise Papers for hiding their wealth offshore and avoiding paying their fair share in taxes. In fact, the information reveals that the loopholes are so big that the CRA has been unable to go after the ultra-rich taking advantage of these gaps in the law.

“While every day Canadians are preparing to file their taxes under a strict deadline, the Liberals are letting the ultra-rich use tax havens to get away with not paying what they owe,” said Ashton. “In 2019, Justin Trudeau promised he’d crack down on tax havens and those who use them by changing the laws. However, he broke his promise by maintaining loopholes allowing the ultra-rich to get off the hook on their taxes.”

Ashton says the Liberals can crack down on tax avoidance by eliminating big corporations’ ability to rely on tax havens. Canada even has "double-non-taxation agreements" with over 80 countries, which often prevent companies from being taxed in either Canada or the other country.

“Canadians work hard, play by the rules, and do everything right-and yet they struggle to get ahead. Meanwhile, this Liberal government is helping the ultra-rich increase their profits without holding them accountable to pay what they owe.

In 2021, Canada’s 123 largest corporations deprived the public of $30 billion in taxes. This is money that could have ended the infrastructure gap for First Nations or delivered health care services for people across the country. New Democrats will continue to push the Liberals to stop protecting the ultra-rich and start defending hardworking Canadians.”

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