Revenue Agency: 44 offshore tax cheats convicted since 2006
Tourists walk along the beach of Seven Mile Beach in Grand Cayman Island on Aug. 3, 2012. (AP / David McFadden)
The Canadian Press
Published Friday, May 10, 2013 7:39AM EDT
Last Updated Friday, May 10, 2013 2:28PM EDT
OTTAWA -- As an international investigation of tax evaders broadens to include Canadian authorities, the federal government says it has convicted just 44 individuals of offshore tax cheating since 2006.
And the total amount of fines levied -- $6.8 million -- is less than the $7.7 million in taxes that were evaded.
Between April 2006 and March 2012, a total of 44 convicted tax evaders were collectively sentenced to 337 months in jail, an average of about seven months each.
The figures came this week from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) in response to a question in Parliament from Liberal MP Geoff Reagan.
Revenue Minister Gail Shea also announced this week that Ottawa is being given access to Canadian data from an ongoing offshore tax-evasion investigation being conducted by American, Australian and British authorities.
Although the revenue agency publishes the names of people convicted of domestic and offshore tax offences, it posts their names online for only six months -- after which it says privacy rules prevent it from identifying the individuals.