Canada’s reputation has a good place to launder money may soon come to an end. A good step to preventing organized crime from using the Canadian economy to “clean” their money is tabled in parliament. The beneficial ownership registry will require companies to declare who or what organization benefits from a subsidiary or otherwise owned business. Such a registry exists in other countries and helps law enforcement and cornered organizations better track what companies are up to.
Canada’s announcement for a publicly accessible registry brings it in line with G7/G20 and Five Eyes’ strategies to advance national security goals and surpasses the new Financial Action Task Force standard on beneficial ownership registries. These registries have become more urgent as transnational criminal networks and foreign state actors seek to exploit liberal democracies to hide dirty money. Currently, 108 countries have made commitments to publicly accessible registries, and Canada can begin next steps in ensuring that all registry data is secure and useful to all FINTRAC reporting entities and law enforcement.
“Tax dodging and money laundering cost the public billions every year,” said Dr. DT Cochrane, economist with Canadians for Tax Fairness. “A publicly accessible registry will significantly improve tax compliance and enforcement for all levels of government.”
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