The largest data leak in journalistic history has revealed rare insights into how the rich and powerful use tax havens to hide their wealth. Dubbed the “Panama Papers”, these 11.5 million documents reveal how Mossack Fonseca, a secretive Panamanian law firm, has been helping wealthy clients hide income and assets, assisting them in laundering money, dodging sanctions and avoiding claiming/paying taxes.
Clientele of the law firm include world leaders, FIFA officials, celebrities, professional athletes, fraudsters, and drug smugglers.
The leak helps expose the tax havens of the rich and powerful and shines a bright light on offshore assets. As the Panama Papers story continues to develop, tax authorities around the world will undoubtedly be taking a much closer look at foreign assets and offshore tax planning. It really brings to mind the question of how close you may be to getting caught if these highly sophisticated schemes are becoming unravelled.
In Canada, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has been angling for years to try and identify unreported offshore tax holdings. The newest method, the Offshore Tax Informant Leads Program, even offers financial rewards to those assisting in this search.
If you are concerned about the CRA finding out about tax behaviour that may be less than compliant, whether you’ve been keeping information about income off of your returns or just want to come clean about certain expense claims, the Voluntary Disclosures Program may be the best way to avoid interest and penalties that may accrue if a debt arises. This program gives Canadians the chance to make a voluntary disclosure of such information in exchange for a CRA promise not to prosecute. If you simply have never reported your offshore inheritance, small rental property or bank account, you can avoid criminal prosecution and massive interest and penalties by accessing CRA programs with the help of TSC.
The Voluntary Disclosures Program is an important asset for Canadians – especially if the Panama Papers leak has you a bit concerned.
Call Tax Solutions Canada today – we can help: 1 888-868-1400.