Revenue Canada opens snitch line

The Canada Revenue Agency has a new snitch line. 

The agency is hoping that the public will help it chase down offshore tax cheats, and promises whistleblowers a percentage of money recovered as a reward.

But some tax experts think the line, while a good idea in and of itself, has several big problems already.

Dennis Howlett, the executive director of Ottawa-based lobby group Canadians for Tax Fairness, agrees that the line is worthwhile - but he has doubts as to its effectiveness.

He believes the line will help recover just a fraction of the estimated $8-billion the Canadian government loses every year in unpaid offshore personal tax income taxes.

"I don't think this snitch line will recover that much, but it's a small piece of what needs to be done," he says. "But it's not the most important step that needs to be taken either."

He claims that any money recovered via the snitch line will pale when compared to amounts lost by loose rules covering corporate taxation.

According to Howlett, the Canadian government loses at least twice as much money to legal but ethically dubious loopholes in corporate tax regulations.

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