No CRA cuffs for ultra-wealthy Canucks, ESG anger, move to Oz and more

TORONTO, June 25, 2021 – Let’s get right to our weekly roundup of the odds and ends from the world of Canadian accounting because there’s a fair bit to cover. 

Are you frustrated, fed up over (a lack of) ESG standards?

Funny, but we don’t get a lot of angry emails from Canadian accountants, saying they’re fed up over the lack of standardization in ESG accounting rules. Maybe that’s why we found Accountants have had enough. It’s time to develop global standards for corporate reporting on ESG issues in the Globe and Mail to be a bit of a head-scratcher. 

Yes, CPA Canada is in favour of an international sustainability standards board, which the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) says should exist alongside the International Accounting Standards Board under the IFRS Foundation. That makes sense. But no one from corporate Canada (yes, pension funds; no, corporate Canada) is quoted in the article. If you’re the CFO of a Canadian corporation and you feel differently, email us and change our minds. 

Here’s Canadian Kevin Dancey, head of IFAC, interviewed in Accounting Today

Another win for ultra-wealthy Canadians?

Very few people ever go to prison in Canada for tax evasion. In 2020, only 21 taxpayers received some form of criminal sentencing for tax evasion, according to Canadian tax lawyer and accountant David J. Rotfleisch. And now, courtesy of the CBC, we find that the CRA conducted 6,770 audits of “ultra-wealthy Canadians” over the past six years, resulting in zero prosecutions or convictions. 

“The CRA is not pursuing Canada’s largest and most egregious tax cheats,” says NDP MP Matthew Green, who asked for the data. “And yet for a small mom-and-pop shop if you don’t pay your taxes long enough — two or three years — then they will absolutely go in and garnish your wages … because they know you don’t have the ability to take it to court,” he said. 

Former CannTrust directors see joint charges

Insider trading charges were laid this past week against the former directors of one of the biggest cannabis companies in Canada. Why? Because the company apparently claimed regulatory compliance in financial disclosure documents while half of its herb was growing in an illegal facility in Pelham, Ontario. 

Accountants, fed up with Canada? Wanna move to Australia?

We thought you might be interested in learning that international accounting and audit professionals looking to work in Australia will now see their visas fast-tracked, as the Australian government looks to plug a shortage of talent in the profession, according to this report. Rampant bushfires and climate change denial has taken the bloom off the golden wattle but the Aussies did well with the coronavirus. 

The Soo gets a surplus

Your local municipality may be in a better financial position this year than last year, if Sault Ste. Marie is a legitimate example. Due to the past pandemic year, they banked $4.9 million in a reserve fund, due to capital work ordered but never delivered. 

Quick Hits

Zoom meetings aren’t fun any more and workers have had enough — here’s what some companies are doing to help (KPMG Canada)

Small Canadian financial services firm hit by ransomware 

By Canadian Accountant staff.

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