Their Tax Secrecy or “Please Sir could I see Brian Mulroney’s tax records”
When the discourse starts about tax havens and secrecy (usually just before tax time) much is said about those nasty places offering bank and corporate secrecy. One of the greatest secret organizations in the tax world is the taxman. Although government lackeys are out in force condemning the use of secrecy by the tax payer there is no such umbrage taken with the tax collector. Every hard working grafter in government, dope dealer and assassin in Canada can comfortably report their income to CRA knowing that the information in their hands is confidential. Do you think that any of the criminal classes would take a chance on getting caught up in a tax investigation? Beating a fraud rap is easy, just ask former Prime Minster Brian Mulroney, however, he knuckled under when CRA came asking about his brown envelopes and what they contained. He immediately filed a revised tax return. Knowing there is a whiff of venality with many of our politicians can you imagine what we find in the tax records of Mike Duffy, Pamela Wallin or Joe Fontana?
Can you imagine the impact on the crime rate in Canada if tax records were open? A criminal importing narcotics or a politician accepting a bribe would think twice about proceeding if he knew that if he didn’t report his nefarious ways to CRA he could go to jail and if he did report he would find his deeds exposed.
In my book “Tackling the Taxman” you can read about Mrs. MacDonald’s cat house. Here was a lady living of the avails of prostitution, clearly a crime, reporting her income from that to the CRA. Not only did she report but fought them in court to have her bribes paid to the police and city fathers deemed a deductible business expense!
The tax tip is, if you have income from any sort of crime don’t feel afraid of reporting it as your secret is safe with CRA. But also remember what brought the downfall of Al Capone, tax evasion not criminal prosecution.
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