Canadian corporations and individuals increased four-fold the amount of money they transferred into tax havens last year. They poured almost $40 billion into the tropical islands and European jurisdictions that hide funds from Canadian taxes, new statistics show.
According to Dennis Howlett, executive director of Canadians for Tax Fairness, citing foreign direct investment numbers from Statistics Canada, said that the total amount of wealth held in the 10 most popular tax havens now sits at $270 billion.
In 2015, $13 billion went to the Cayman Islands, $9 billion to Barbados, and nearly $8 billion to the Bahamas. Money sent to Switzerland jumped up by 58 per cent over the previous year.
The recent Panama Papers investigations, conducted by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, exposed the shady world of offshore tax havens. Scores of reports have shown how illicit money mingles with cash kept out of the reach of tax collectors in a network of shell companies that hide their owners’ true identities.
“Tightening corporate taxes is something the (Trudeau) government hasn’t shown that it’s willing to do”, Howlett said.
Better to run a huge deficit than to tax the rich, evidently.