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With the number of people calling themselves corporations tripling between 2001 and 2014, the time to act is now.
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According to recent media reports based on the Panama Papers, some see Canada as a tax haven. It may seem unlikely when you are reviewing how much tax you paid to the government in 2016 but evidently, our reputation and economy is a good venue for hiding wealth.
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The money that pour into tax havens does not stay there, but is invested in various countries. However, any financial flow through a tax haven makes it tax-free, and any return on it tax-free as well. Corporations and wealthy individuals invest their finances through tax havens to avoid paying taxes or reduce their tax burden. Canada is no more immune to it than any other country.
Johnny Chih-Chung Chang
“I’m not going to stand up and say the economy grew by 26 per cent.”
Twenty-first century "Canadian" corporate capitalism is quite the racket. Built with public subsidies, a Montréal firm can shift its "head office" to a tax haven and workforce abroad, but Ottawa will continue to use its diplomatic, economic and military might to advance the company's reactionary international interests.
Journalists and curious citizens are busily combing through a searchable database of names linked to the Panama Papers leak of offshore accounts. The International Consortium of Investigative Journali...
Leaving the country to avoid taxes could be more hassle than it's worth.
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Offshore accounts cost U.S. government $111 billion a year.
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It is hard to know exactly how much money is hidden in tax havens or passed through elaborate BEPS schemes, but some estimates range from $21 trillion to $32 trillion U.S. Rather than throwing in the towel, governments could make an earnest effort to tighten their domestic regulations and continue to pursue multilateral initiatives aimed at combating tax evasion.
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More than a third say it's at least "slightly" likely they would try legal tax avoidance.
Is it collusion, corruption or just plain incompetence? That answer will likely play out over time if there is a public demand for accountability. In the meantime, Canadians need a plan to make sure that our leaders understand what we have known for a while -- the tax system is neither fair nor doing an adequate job.
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Percy Downe has been fighting for years to get Canada to measure its tax gap.
It may be tempting to pay for certain things in cash because we think that saving a few dollars here and there can't hurt; however, we fail to see the larger impact of what happens when we do. The underground economy makes it challenging to protect the country's revenue base and hinders the government's ability to keep taxes low. When people pay in cash, they skip out on paying the taxes that support things like healthcare, education and public transportation -- the very social services we rely on every day.
Granted that Zuckerberg and other wealthy individuals do such public and private acts and structure their affairs to their advantage, my point is that most people will do the same and nobody does anything without expecting something in return, be it material benefits, fame, feeling good about oneself, reward in the afterlife, or other tangible and intangible benefits.