Special Feature

Budget 2017

News and insight for advisors from the 2017 federal budget tabled on March 22 in Ottawa. Photo copyright: jvaillancourt/123RF.

Economy & Markets

The budget announced plans for a new national strategy to improve access to information for law enforcement about the people behind corporations and other legal arrangements

By James Langton |

The federal government revealed plans in this year's budget to do more to pierce corporate veils and unmask asset owners — as well as to share that information more widely — in order to step up the fight against tax evasion and money laundering.

Citing concerns about financial crimes such as money laundering, terrorist financing and tax evasion, the budget announced plans for a national strategy to improve law enforcement access to information about the people behind corporations and other legal arrangements. The government says in Wednesday's budget that it will work with the provinces and territories to enhance transparency in this area.

The budget also reports that the government is looking at altering the tax reporting requirements of trusts to uncover greater information in this area as well.

"These actions will ensure that law enforcement and other authorities have timely access to the information needed to crack down on money laundering, terrorist financing and tax evasion and to combat tax avoidance," the budget says.

At the same time, the budget indicates that the government also plans to propose changes to anti-money laundering (AML) laws that would enable the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces to receive financial intelligence involving possible threats to national security; along with other changes designed to strengthen compliance with the existing AML reporting requirements.

Read: Budget 2017