CRA audits just 5 Canadians out of hundreds of RBC Panama Papers accounts
Source: CBC News
Author: Zach Dubinsky
Two years after it took aim at hundreds of Royal Bank clients exposed in the Panama Papers leak, the Canada Revenue Agency has decided just five cases require an audit.
That’s because most of the offshore accounts it unearthed ended up belonging to foreigners, the CRA says.
The revenue agency went to court in the wake of the Panama Papers in 2016 to compel RBC to hand over decades’ worth of records on clients with offshore companies. The CRA’s court filings at the time said it was prompted by revelations from CBC News and the Toronto Star, which found RBC and its affiliates had set up or handled at least 429 offshore entities for clients since 1977 through a shady Panamanian law firm.
A year later, the CRA quietly went back to Federal Court to get a second order from a judge forcing Royal Bank to hand over yet more client records stemming from the Panama Papers. (The bank did not oppose either court order, and the CRA has never alleged it did anything wrong.)
The tax agency confirmed this week that it has finished analyzing all the data.
“The CRA determined that the majority of the corporations and officers in the information are non-Canadian taxpayers,” spokesperson Karl Lavoie wrote in an email. “The CRA determined that there were fewer than 10 Canadians from the information, and five taxpayers have been identified for audit.”