The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Canadians' use of tax havens grows to $170 billion, and that's just legal flows

  • Print

OTTAWA - Canadians' use of tax havens for both legal and illegal purposes appears to be growing despite government efforts to curtail the practice, says a new paper from a tax avoidance watchdog.

Canadians for Tax Fairness says new data shows the use of 10 offshore tax havens by Canadian firms and individuals rose to $170 billion last year, up $15 billion from the year before.

The data shows that Canadian money is flowing into tax havens at a faster rate than investment into non-tax haven countries.

The $170 billion figure almost certainly under-represents the problem, says executive director Dennis Howlett, since Statistics Canada has stopped tracking how much money is being stashed away in the Bahamas, which in 2010 held about $14.5 billion in Canadian money.

As well, Howlett notes the figures only show money being reported and would not capture illegal activities.

The group estimates federal and provincial governments are losing out on close to $8 billion in revenues from the reported use of tax havens alone.

The federal government has joined other advanced nations in efforts to cut down on tax avoidance and cheating, but Howlett says Ottawa hasn't matched its rhetoric with action. He notes that Revenue Canada has seen deep cuts in staffing over the past few years as part of the government's public service cutbacks.

The numbers show that about 40 per cent of all Canadian direct foreign investment is held by the finance and insurance industry and that the money flow is mostly into three offshore countries — Barbados, the Cayman Islands and Luxembourg.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Tree remover has special connection to Grandma Elm

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Susan and Gary Harrisonwalk their dog Emma on a peaceful foggy morning in Assiniboine Park – Standup photo– November 27, 2011   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • July 1, 2012 - 120701  -   Canada Day fireworks at The Forks from the Norwood Bridge Sunday, July 1, 2012.    John Woods / Winnipeg Free Press

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Which of Manitoba's new landlord-tenant rules are you looking forward to most?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google