PIPSC welcomes enhanced transparency of corporate beneficial owners

PIPSC commends Canada’s new corporate transparency requirements to combat tax evasion, money laundering, and other financial crimes. 

The federal government passed landmark legislation last year requiring Canadian corporations to disclose their beneficial owner·s. A beneficial owner is the individual, or individuals, who control a significant share of a company. 

Criminals can use shell companies to launder money, evade taxes, and finance illicit activities. Without beneficial ownership information, it’s difficult to trace and prosecute these crimes. 

As of January 22, 2024, Canadian companies must start filing their beneficial owner information, which will be centralized in a publicly accessible registry. This brings Canada in line with more than 130 countries that have committed to open corporate ownership registries. 

PIPSC has long advocated for stronger beneficial ownership transparency to address tax dodging, fraud, and money laundering. 

A 2018 survey of our members who were auditors at the Canada Revenue Agency found:

  • 61% believed Canada is too secretive about beneficial ownership information
  • 75% said federal and provincial governments should require corporations to publicly identify beneficial ownership relationships

We’re pleased policymakers considered our recommendations and the expertise of our members. 

Accessible beneficial ownership information is long overdue in Canada, where more than $40 billion is laundered through the economy each year. 

Canada’s corporate beneficial ownership registry will be a critical tool to help federal and provincial governments deter crime and ensure everyone pays their fair share.