Canada's treasure trove of money hidden in offshore tax havens has hit a record $185 billion, a new report estimates.
Using Statistics Canada data on direct foreign investments, Canadians for Tax Fairness calculated that money flowing to Canada's 10 most used tax havens experienced a one-year jump of $15 billion in 2013, up from $155 billion the previous year. The group estimates that another $14.5 billion is held in the Bahamas, bringing the total nearly $185 billion.
Statistics Canada inexplicably dropped Bahamas from the data, even though the tiny Caribbean island held $14.5 billion in 2010.
Barbados, Cayman Islands and Luxembourg alone accounted for $124 billion in money squirreled away by Canada's tax-dodging elites in 2013. That compares to $87 billion stashed away in the same three countries in 2010, shows the report, released Friday, shows.
Meanwhile, the money flowing to tax havens is growing at a faster rate than investment in non-tax haven countries. The government's own figures show that 25% of Canadian foreign investment is going to tax havens, with half of it is being sent there by finance and corporate management industries.
And after the United States and United Kingdom, Canada's third largest destination for foreign investment is Barbados. Yes, Barbados.
The Conservative government's 2012 budget introduced several measures that were said to target offshore tax dodgers, and last year Canada signed onto a G8 agreement to tackle international tax avoidance.
But the Conservatives also slashed the budget of the Canada Revenue Agency by $250 million and cut 3,000 staff, raising the question of "how the federal government can effectively crack down on potential tax evasion."
Here's the tax havens breakdown, by country.