Bring forward this beast, KPMG.
More details on the KPMG/Isle of Man tax dodge scheme. The CBC has revealed documents showing that KPMG's "anti tax-avoidance" group knew the deal was bent but apparently stood down as it went ahead anyway.
The executive writes in a January 2001 email, that a "majority" of the members of the group were concerned federal tax authorities might find out about undeclared money coming back to Canada. In that event, it would be "plausible" for the CRA to argue that the Income Tax Act was "violated," the email says.
Still, the KPMG executive writes, the revenue agency would not be able to challenge the tax plan without proof that the money had made its way back into Canada.
"It would be difficult for [the CRA] to criticize the transactions unless they have evidence of the moneys (sic) coming back," the email says.
The email also says that even if the CRA did eventually find out, "many taxation years could be statute barred." In other words, the email suggests, too much time might have passed for the agency to do anything about it.
Let's break that down. The group, whose name suggests it was designed to prevent tax-avoidance schemes, was actually engaged in figuring out whether KPMG execs could get away with it.
Would the revenuers find out about it?
What were the chances the revenuers would be able to prove the illicit funds made their way back into Canada?
Even if the revenuers did discover the scheme, detect the transmission of funds and put together a case, might all or most of the illicit funds be off limits, "statute barred" through the passage of enough time?
They weren't trying to derail a tax scam before it got underway. They were gaming the odds of getting away with it. Yeah, sure, it's illegal as hell. But will the government even find out about it? And, even if they find out about it, will they be able to prove it? And even if they find out about it and they're able to prove it, will the clients still be off the hook thanks to the passage of time, the statute of limitations?
Who thinks like that except a bunch of crooks? It sounds exactly like organized crime, maybe without the broken bones and gunplay.
I think it's time we hauled that beast out into the light where we can kill it.