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Letter: Tax evaders will be brought to justice

Dear Editor: In regards to the editorial published March 10, “Trickle up,” the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) wants Canadians to have complete and accurate information about tax avoidance, tax evasion and the agency’s relationship with stakeholders.

First, it should be understood that the KPMG case is an active litigation file and the CRA's work is not concluded. The agency will pursue this case to the fullest extent possible, as we do with all other cases of aggressive non-compliance. The CRA believes firmly that all participants in offshore tax evasion and tax avoidance schemes must be identified and brought into full compliance with their tax obligations.

There is no preferred treatment of certain taxpayers who are non-compliant over others. Relevant laws and compliance actions are applied evenly and without favour. Early dispute resolution can be in the public interest as litigation is costly and the outcome uncertain.

Media coverage has compared the KPMG case with one involving Fiscal Arbitrators, a promoter of a tax scheme that was also identified and pursued by the Agency. The facts of each scheme and the actions of the taxpayers involved are not the same and cannot be compared.

Last year, the CRA's audit work resulted in more than $11 billion in additional taxes assessed as well as penalties and interest. Over $7 billion of that amount was from large companies and individuals with aggressive tax plans.

The CRA, like all government organizations, has a responsibility to listen to those affected by its policies and programs, including individual taxpayers, businesses, and those who represent them. In meeting with these stakeholders, we help them to understand the requirements of Canada’s tax system and improve compliance.

In working with stakeholder associations, employees do not discuss specific taxpayer files.

More information on our approach to these issues can be found here.

Ted Gallivan, assistant commissioner, compliance branch, Canada Revenue Agency

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