Stop tax cheats by investing in CRA auditors

Every $1 invested in public service tax professionals will generate $4 in public revenue, an analysis by the Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO) has confirmed.

“Regular people are paying their fair share of taxes. But large corporations and wealthy individuals can hire teams of high-priced specialists to aggressively game the tax code,” said PIPSC president Debi Daviau. PIPSC represents nearly 12,000 Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) tax professionals focused predominantly on corporate audits.

The PBO analysis was released as part of an election platform costing exercise and is a credible, non-partisan report. The analysis clearly shows that investing in the CRA will generate public funds for the services Canadians rely on.

Harper’s 2012 federal budget significantly undermined the CRA’s capacity to stop the richest corporations and individuals from ducking their fair share of taxes. Despite much-needed reinvestment in the CRA since 2015, funding levels are still $500 million below the 2012 cuts.

When Canadians were asked in a 2018 Environics survey whether it’s easier for corporations and wealthy individuals to evade or avoid tax than it is for average people, almost 80% of respondents agreed. When PIPSC put the same question to the auditors, economists, actuaries and other professionals at the CRA, the level of agreement was even higher: 90% said it’s easier for the rich to get around taxes compared to others.

“It is unfair that everyone else has to suffer while the richest individuals and corporations in this country are gaming the system to avoid paying their fair share,” said Daviau. “It’s time to invest in CRA auditors so they can bring fairness back to our tax system.”