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Friday News Roundup 20.10.02: ex-MP faces tax evasion charges, Taxpayers Ombudsperson and more

Wrapping up the odds and ends in this week’s Canadian accounting news

Author: Canadian Accountant

TORONTO, Oct. 2, 2020 – This week’s odds and ends from the world of Canadian accounting was overshadowed by a news cycle dominated by US politics, first by the release of US President Trump’s tax returns by the New York Times, then by the widely criticized US Presidential Debate on Tuesday, and now by news that Trump and First Lady Melania Trump have both tested positive for COVID-19. 

In Canada — where Opposition leaders Yves-Francois Blanchet and Erin O’Toole have also tested positive for COVID-19 — the unanimous passing of Bill C-4, which replaces CERB income supports, in the Commons (only to be delayed in the Senate) was the story of the week. But this week’s Canadian accounting odds and ends includes: 

Former Tory MP Anders charged with tax evasion

“For most of his political career,” says The National Post, “Rob Anders led the charge against taxes and big government in Ottawa.” Now the former Conservative MP for Calgary West has been charged with tax evasion by the Canada Revenue Agency for allegedly under-reporting his income during his time as an MP. 

“The key word here is materiality,” says Denis Meunier, an anti-money laundering consultant and former director general responsible for criminal investigations at the CRA. “CRA wouldn’t even start an investigation unless it was material and significant. Generally, the consideration is the amount of money in question.” 

More fallout from UofT human rights hiring fiasco

The future of the International Human Rights Program at the University of Toronto Law School is being called into question by law students. This follows the news that Justice David Spiro, who sits on the Tax Court of Canada, allegedly influenced the reversal of a hiring decision by the school. Students, who reportedly pay $35k a year in tuition to attend the program, are disturbed by the damage to the program’s reputation. 

Government announces new Taxpayers’ “Ombudsperson”

Starting Monday, Canada taxpayers get a new Taxpayers’ Ombudsperson: François Boileau, the former French Language Services Commissioner of Ontario. Boileau replaces Ms. Sherra Profit who, before she retired from the job, was highly critical of the CRA for its service issues in Northern Canada. The government has also announced that Mr. Boileau will be an “Ombudsperson” while Ms. Profit was an “Ombudsman.” Go figure! 

IFRS insurance standards deferred to 2023

The long march towards a “robust” implementation of IFRS 17 that will require substantial changes in the insurance industry has been delayed or deferred (choose your terminology) to January 1, 2023. Following an announcement by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), Canada’s Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) issued new timelines this week. The target date has been delayed twice since 2018, following consultations with heavyweights in the global insurance industry. 

By Canadian Accountant staff.

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