Canada: Too Late for Voluntary Disclosure Program

On September 26, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) announced in a statement that those taxpayers that have been identified in the Panama Papers and are being reviewed or audited cannot qualify for the Voluntary Disclosure Program anymore.


The Canada Revenue Agency offers the possibility to waive penalties and reduce interest for those taxpayers that come forward with their illegal tax incentives or incorrect tax records. The CRA urged companies to apply for its Voluntary Disclosure Program as it announced in April that it was spending an additional $444 million in the fight against tax avoidance and evasion and hired new officials for its audit team.

Panama Papers

The Canada Revenue Agency informed that after analysis of Panama Papers, 85 taxpayers are currently under thorough audit. The Agency however said that 2,671 individuals or firms are already being reviewed. The CRA said it cannot reveal the details of those proceedings as they may compromise the investigation or reveal confidential data.

Too Late

The Canada Revenue Agency said Canadian firms and individuals involved in the tax evasion identified in the Panama Papers should not hope for any negotiated settlement with the CRA as it is already too late.  

"The taxpayers under audit can't qualify for the Voluntary Disclosure Program," Luciani-Girouard, press secretary for Revenue Minister Diane Lebouthillier said. "Given the significant information the CRA has in relation to the Panama Papers, any VDP request would be referred to Offshore Compliance agents who, barring any exceptional circumstances, would confirm that the taxpayer is not eligible because compliance interventions are planned for all identified participants," she added.

Sources: The Globe and Mail, CBC, Advocate Daily

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