Budget 2022: Amping Up CRA’s Enforcement Activities and Targeting Financial Crime

  • June 13, 2022
  • Jennifer Flood and Greg DelBigio, Q.C., Thorsteinssons LLP

The 2022 Budget shows once again Canada’s ongoing commitment to the investigation and prosecution of financial crime including money laundering and tax evasion, including by injecting substantial funds into expanding the CRA’s audit and enforcement activities. Having previously invested $2.2 billion in the CRA since 2016, the government proposes in Budget 2022 “to provide a further $1.2 billion over five years, starting in 2022-23, for the CRA to expand audits of larger entities and non-residents engaged in aggressive tax planning; increase both the investigation and prosecution of those engaged in criminal tax evasion; and to expand its educational outreach”.

In addition, the government’s new proposed measures include:

  • developing legislative changes to strengthen the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act, the Criminal Code, and other legislation to enhance the ability of authorities to detect, deter, investigate, and prosecute financial crimes and to manage emerging threats, such as those posed by the digitalization of money;
  • establishing a new “Canada Financial Crimes Agency”, which will become
    Canada’s lead enforcement agency in this area;
  • accelerating amendments to the Canada Business Corporations Act to implement a public and searchable beneficial ownership registry, which authorities will use to counter the use of shell companies for illegal activities, including money laundering, corruption, and tax evasion; and
  • investing $89.9 million over five years in the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC) to, among other things, implement new anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing requirements for crowdfunding platforms and payment service providers and continue to build expertise related to virtual currency.