Canadians for Tax Fairness Executive Director Dennis Howlett made a presentation to the House of Commons Finance Committee about a proposed piece of legislation - Bill S-17. The government has said it is one of the tools that it wants to use to get a grip on money flowing offshore. But Howlett has different advice. Here is his testimony:
Join a media stunt to press Canada to support a strong tax haven action plan at the G8
Oxfam Canada and Canadians for Tax Fairness have organized media stunts in several Canadian cities as Prime Minister Stephen Harper heads to G8 summit.
Media stunt: 156 empty plates
One empty plate represents a hungry person. 156 empty plates represent $156 billion in tax revenues lost from funds that wealthy individuals have hidden in tax havens around the world.
May 10, 2013: Canadian money stashed in the top 12 global tax havens has topped $170 Billion, according to data on foreign direct investment released yesterday by Statistics Canada. This amounts to a quarter of all Canadian money going abroad.
This figure is also equivalent to ten percent of Canada’s $1.8 trillion GDP.
Canadian money in tax havens is at an all time high - $160 billion at last count.. and growing. One of the main reasons rich Canadians and large corporations hide their money in tax havens is to avoid paying their fair share of taxes. How much are we losing? It is hard to say but we think it adds up to tens of billions of dollars.
That's not likely to change if today's Federal Finance Committee Report on Tax Havens has anything to say about it.
The CBC released a huge leak of information on tax havens received by the Washington, D.C.-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, a non-profit group that has shared the records with media outlets in 35 other countries. It is thought to be one of the biggest ever leaks of financial data.
CBC Television gave Canadians for Tax Fairness spokesperson, Dennis Howlett, top billing on its National News on March 22 with a story about the Federal Budget 2013's announcement that the government was going to crack down on tax cheats using tax havens.
The video report can be viewed here: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2013/03/22/f-tax-offshore-evasion-whistleblower.html
The Toronto Star has published an editorial today calling for action in the upcoming federal budget.
Wednesday March 7, 2013
Ottawa – The House of Commons Finance Committee investigating the impact of tax havens on Canada’s economy should immediately call Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page to produce a report on lost revenues. Earlier this week, Page released a document indicating a method to estimate such losses. Last month, Canada Revenue Agency officials dismissed requests from the committee for such an estimate.
Public and media interest about the impact of tax havens on the Canadian economy has prompted the House of Commons Finance Committee to televise its hearings..
Click here if you want to see if MPs are asking the right questions.
Can tax activists and bankers agree on the future of tax havens?
Pour yourself a coffee and listen to the live proceedings of the House of Commons Finance Committee. The session starts at 845 am (eastern) on Thursday, February 14. This link is only good for the live proceedings.