Update (April 2016): After sustained work by Canadians for Tax Fairness and a major push from the Leadnow community, the Minister of Revenue announced new plans to detect, investigate, and prosecute wealthy tax evaders. This is a victory on the road to the final one — closing tax loopholes that let corporations funnel billions offshore. The campaign isn’t over, and we’re exploring next steps, so please stay tuned! In the meantime, chip in to help us double down on the fight to stop tax dodgers.
A global network of investigative journalists has just released the Panama Papers – “an unprecedented leak of secretive offshore tax-havens” that “contains stunning new revelations” about how wealthy and powerful people hide money and dodge taxes. 1
The Panama Papers implicate more than 72 current and former heads of state in corruption and money laundering – and the the Prime Minister of Iceland has already resigned. 2 The leak names the Royal Bank of Canada, and hundreds of wealthy Canadians who have money hidden away in offshore tax havens. 3
The Panama Papers are the tip of a tax evasion iceberg that costs Canada tens of billions of dollars every year. 4 Right now millions of people are paying attention to news coverage of the Panama Papers. We have a chance to turn public outrage into lasting changes to close tax loopholes and make sure the super wealthy pay their fair share – but we need to act now.
Can you ask the Minister of Finance and the Parliamentary Finance committee to stop rich tax cheats by closing tax loopholes?
The billions lost to tax havens are billions that should be protecting and strengthening our common goods – like our hospitals and schools – and investing in tackling the biggest challenges of the 21st century. Instead, we’re all being cheated.
The good news is that we’ve got momentum. Earlier this month, when the KPMG “sham” tax scheme broke, thousands of you called on the government to close tax loopholes and stop tax dodging in the March 22 budget. 5 The budget included nearly half a billion dollars to crack down on tax evasion – money that will pay for itself five times over. (Thank you to everyone who sent a message!)
The budget was a great start by the new government, but we need to speak out together to close tax loopholes for good. Remember, rich and powerful people benefit from tax loopholes and they will be pushing back on the other side.
When we asked the Leadnow community to rate your priorities for the new government, stopping tax evasion emerged as a top priority to create a more fair economy.
Now, at a time when our new government is boldly running a $30 billion deficit to keep campaign promises and make key investments, the $80 billion we lose to wealthy tax dodgers could go a long way towards improving our fiscal strength while paying for infrastructure and social services. 6
Please send your message to stop rich tax evaders from cheating Canadians.
- How offshore banking is costing Canada billions of dollars a year: http://www.thestar.com/news/world/2016/04/04/how-offshore-tax-havens-are-costing-canada-billions-of-dollars-a-year.html ↩
- Iceland’s Prime Minister Steps Down Amid Panama Papers scandal
- See 1 ↩
- Canada Revenue offered amnesty to wealthy KPMG clients in offshore tax “sham”
- See 4 ↩
- Huge cost of tax evasion revealed as campaign to tackle tax havens launches