File Photo, Jean-François Cloutier
Brad Birkenfeld is a ringer alarm american who has been trying since 2008 to alert the Canada on the existence of an investment program offshore secrecy in Switzerland. Unlike the United States, the canadian tax authorities had never sought to meet him.
Tuesday, 7 November 2017 01:00
Tuesday, 7 November 2017 01:00
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The Trudeau government is dragging feet to avoid having to provide documents to a folder on the explosive tax evasion of billions of dollars by wealthy Canadians in Switzerland, according to a mutual defense of taxpayers.
“There is clearly something in the folder that they do not want to give us for an unexplained reason,” says Michael Dagg, director of the access to information for the organization Canadians for accountability.
While Ottawa has to want to make it a priority to fight tax evasion offshore, the body tries in vain for three years to obtain documents related to the investigation file of the federal on the swiss bank UBS, under the act of access to information.
This organization was founded by the ringer of the alarm is very well known in English Canada Allan Cutler.
Mr. Cutler is seeking to understand why Canada has never been fined or charged with any canadian taxpayer who has hidden money in Switzerland in the years 2000. “It is absolutely incomprehensible,” he said.
$ 7 billion in hidden
Our investigation agency has revealed in September that the swiss bank UBS had collected, in 2004, nearly $ 7 billion canadian in an investment program offshore secrecy.
A ringer, alarm, american, Brad Birkenfeld, was awarded a sum of 104 MILLION US$ by the us tax authorities for revealing the existence of this same programme intended for wealthy people.
Birkenfeld has yet attempted, as early as 2008, to alert Revenue Canada on the existence of this program. But unlike the United States, the canadian tax authorities had never sought to meet him.
Access requests ignored
In 2015, Michael Dagg has sent a first request for access to obtain the documentation related to the folder.
The ministry of Justice had replied that” no documents existed in response to your request “.
Dagg has filed a complaint with the office of the information Commissioner of Canada. The investigation is still active.
In 2016, Michael Dagg sent a second request for access to information in a more precise claimant “means any information, record or document” to the folder topic Birkenfeld.
Deadlines that stretch
In march 2017, the tax man has this time requested an extension of 180 days to provide the information.
In September 2017, Mr. Dagg has, however, respond that the information could not be provided, once more. This time, it was contended that the permission granted by Birkenfeld to give information concerning him, has not been done to the good name.
“It is a tactic, pure and simple, in order to buy time, denounces Michael Dagg. We will go to court if necessary to get the documents. “
► Jean-François Cloutier is the author of the book The Great Drift, published in the September Editions of the Newspaper, on the use of tax havens by wealthy Canadians.
Who is Allan Cutler ?
It was founded in 2007 the organization Canadians for accountability, which makes the promotion of ethics and defends the ringers of alarm.
Federal government employee career, Mr. Cutler is one of those who uncovered the sponsorship scandal.
For months, he has held head to the official Charles Guité who wanted to change the date on the invoices. He was ostracized by his colleagues for months to do not follow the orders from above.
Mr. Cutler received the Golden Whistle Award in 2010, a canadian price, which rewards whistleblowers.
Le Journal de Montréal