Last week, the U.K. took an unexpected but praiseworthy step in cracking down on some of the world’s most notorious tax havens.
The U.K. already boasted a strong domestic framework for corporate transparency. But it has now passed legislation requiring public registries of beneficial ownership of corporations and trusts to its offshore territories, including the Cayman Islands, Bermuda and the British Virgin Islands.
In the wake of the Panama Papers and Paradise Papers, other countries have also made significant strides in recent years both to strengthen their level of wealth transparency, and to recover revenue previously lost to tax evasion. But unfortunately, Canada has done nothing but fall behind the rest of the world on either count.
On the accountability front, we rank alongside South Korea as the only two G20 countries with what Transparency International considers to operate under a “weak” framework for corporate anonymity.
As a result, Canada has become an enabler