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MPs braced for battle with global accounting firm over naming wealthy Canadians behind offshore tax shelters

May 20, 2021 – For years, ultra-wealthy Canadians — aided by high-priced accounting and tax law firms — have been setting up offshore shell companies in the Isle of Man so they can dodge taxes back home, avoid paying future creditors (such as ex-spouses) and hide their identities.

Now, MPs on the House of Commons finance committee appear ready to try to dismantle that shield of secrecy.

Politicians from all parties agreed early in May to open a long-dormant probe into Isle of Man tax shelters. They were reacting to recent reports suggesting the self-governing British Crown dependency’s strict confidentiality laws did more than help rich Canadians avoid taxes — that they may also have helped fraudsters embezzle more than $500 million from investors.

Global accounting firms have mostly managed to keep their clients’ names secret by arguing that their codes of conduct prevent them from publicly naming the multimillionaires behind the shell companies they helped to set up. CBC News reports. | READ MORE