Following similar legislation in other countries Canada has finally introduced a beneficial ownership requirement on Canadian companies. Federally registered companies will have to disclose who owns them, which means it’ll be harder to commit tax fraud. Plus, by having companies reveal who benefits from their existence it will be easier for authorities to track criminal behaviour and efforts around snow washing.
In 2017, an investigation by the Toronto Star and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, based on ICIJ’s Panama Papers dataset, revealed how Canada had emerged as a popular tax haven, touted by corporate service providers as a “reputable” destination to hide wealth.
Transparency advocates welcomed the landmark reforms, which passed into law on Nov. 2 under an amendment to the Canada Business Corporations Act, following a years-long push for a legislative means to tackle money laundering and tax evasion.