The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has written off debts of at least $ 4 billion over the past two years, according to documents.
In at least two cases, the receivables amounted to over $ 10 million .Des debts could not be collected because those who held them were dead, had filed for bankruptcy, did not reside in Canada or had not been located if we rely on the CRA documents obtained under the Access to Information Act.
In some cases, the agency judged that the recovery effort was not worth the expenditure necessary to recover the money owed or enter into a repayment agreement with the debtor.
The agency says she is trying to get all the amounts due from recalcitrant taxpayers.
Deputy NDP critic for national revenue, Murray Rankin, has questioned the government’s willingness to try to recover money owed to the federal treasury.
“(The Agency) does not seek to recover the international debt as it should do, he lamented in an interview.
A report by the Auditor General of Canada published in 2013, the amount of unpaid and uncontested tax was $ 29 billion at 31 March 2012.
The Public Accounts of Canada in 2014 indicate that the Revenue Agency wrote off $ 3.4 billion debt. The total of all Canadian government debt write-offs of $ 3.7 billion.
Latest CRA documents do not correspond to the fiscal year but range from 12 January 2013 to 10 October 2014. During this period, the amount of debt written off amounted to just over $ 4 billion .
A spokeswoman for the CRA, Magali Deussing, declined to find someone that can comment on these documents.
However, she said that the decision to write off a tax debt was based on the rules established by certain legislation such as the Financial Administration Act and the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act. By law, a debt can be written off as “if there is no reasonable chance of recovery.”
Even if a debt is written-off, this does not mean that the recalcitrant taxpayer gets away with it. “(CRA) has the right to collect a debt if and when the taxpayer is located or if its financial situation improved,” assured Ms. Deussing.
The documents indicate that between July and October 2014, at least two debts totaling more than $ 10 million each were delisted. According to Mr. Rankin, waive recovery of the debts of a pencil stroke may seem troubling. The tax collection is a “question of political priorities,” he considers. “Are we trying to recover so as energetic as do other countries?”, He asks.