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Panama papers fallout: Ottawa targets $2.6B in missing taxes

The national headquarters of the Canadian Revenue Agency pictured in Ottawa on Jan. 16, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Matthew Usherwood

As the Panama papers scandal continues to spark outrage around the world, the Trudeau government has announced new measures to crack down on tax cheats and tax havens.

The new strategy will be part of the $444-million boost in funding for the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), which was announced in the March budget.

The Liberal government is targeting tax cheats, by boosting audits and investigations of citizens and companies who send money to offshore accounts.

CRA and government officials hope to recoup $2.6 billion in missing taxes over the next five years.

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance Francois-Philippe Champagne warns there will be no safe place in the world for tax evasion and avoidance.

“Those who use their privilege to hide income and assets offshore, or try to evade or avoid paying the taxes they owe will be identified and will face consequences,” Champagne said on Monday.

He also said the CRA will also focus resources on those using offshore accounts. The agency will specifically investigate electronic fund transfers over $10,000 to the Isle of Man and three other unnamed jurisdictions.

The federal government will also open a special program to stop organizations that create and promote tax schemes for the wealthy.

The details of the plan follow media reports on the so-called Panama Papers, a leak of 11.5 million records from a Panamanian law firm which shed light on international efforts to use offshore tax havens.

With files from The Canadian Press