Are the Canada Revenue Agency tax evasion raids a public relations exercise?
Source: Canadian Accountant
OTTAWA, February 15, 2018 – Tax experts say yesterday’s highly public raids by the Canada Revenue Agency, in connection with Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca and the Panama Papers data leak, are “incredibly rare,” and they question whether the CRA’s “extraordinary measures” are an exercise in public relations.
“While I agree that the public needs to know that tax enforcement is taking place, I can’t help but think this news release is largely a PR exercise,” says tax lawyer and accountant David Rotfleisch of Toronto-based Rotfleisch & Samulovitch. “After two years, three search warrants are served. Is this really significant news?”
On Wednesday, approximately 30 criminal investigators from the CRA, assisted by the RCMP and local police officials, executed search warrants in Calgary, West Vancouver and the Greater Toronto Area. In a press release, the CRA stated that, during the course of an offshore tax evasion criminal investigation, it “identified a series of transactions involving foreign corporations and several transfers through offshore bank accounts used allegedly to evade taxes.”