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Friday News Roundup 20.10.16: Jersey (off)Shore, Tax Court & CJC, MNP and much more

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

Author: Canadian Accountant

TORONTO, Oct. 16, 2020 – The Thanksgiving Day long weekend obscured the positive news last Friday that Canada added 378,000 jobs in September, even more than in August, pushing the jobless rate down to nine per cent. Defying the expectations of pundits, Canada is outpacing the economic recovery of the United States, which is mired in political and pandemic relief battles. Although the majority of the jobs were full-time, there is much concern that further outbreaks of COVID-19 will stall the recovery. Moving on, this week’s odds and ends from the world of Canadian accounting include: 

Canadians caught in Jersey offshore tax avoidance schemes

The Toronto Star and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism ran separate stories this week on wealthy Canadians now ensnared in investigations involving a company called La Hougue and the murky world of offshore trusts in the tax haven of Jersey. Most amusing line? “Many of its practices were so rotten that when La Hougue’s executives moved its operations to a new sister company in Panama, the regulator there banned the firm, fearing it could tarnish the country’s ‘good name.’” 

On Wednesday, The Star explored the case of Maple Screw Products of Mississauga, who some might say “screwed” Canadian taxpayers out of $10 million through an alleged bankruptcy and tax avoidance scheme. The hero of the story is one Michelle Pickett, who, in 2006, blew the whistle to the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy and the Canada Revenue Agency, two entities that did nothing with the file. Wrote Pickett: “Maple management and all concerned with his file have taught me a valuable lesson on the extent of deceit, lies, immoral and unethical practices that individuals and professionals will stoop to in the interest of money.” Pickett is now a partner with PwC Canada. 

Tax Court influence allegations now before judge

On Wednesday came the news, via the Globe and Mail, that allegations concerning the conduct of Justice David Spiro of the Tax Court of Canada are now before Chief Justice Kenneth Nielsen of the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench. Neilson is a member of the Canadian Judicial Council (CJC), a disciplinary body, chaired by Richard Wagner, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada. 

According to the Globe, the CJC “has the authority to ask Justice Spiro and Tax Court Chief Justice Eugene Rossiter to comment on the allegations; he may also retain an investigator to conduct confidential interviews. If he decides the complaints may warrant removal from the bench the review of Justice Spiro will continue.” Meanwhile, the University of Toronto has announced an “impartial review” of the “hiring fiasco” at its Law School, which led to the allegations. 

MNP Consumer Debt Index highlights K-shaped recovery

The bankruptcy wing of MNP LLP put out its quarterly debt index on Tuesday and highlighted the debt burden of some pockets of the Canadian economy. According to MNP Ltd., lower-income earners, young Canadians, women and renters are, according to most at risk of debt burden or insolvency, which some point to as a K-shaped recovery. 

MNP picks up two Ontario accounting firms

Homegrown national accounting firm MNP LLP announced a merger today with two firms South Central Ontario professional services firms: Furtney Crysler St. Catharines and PJ Partners of Burlington. MNP entered the South Central Ontario market in 2013 through a merger with Burlington firm, Wade Group Professional Services. Since then, the firm has expanded with offices in St. Catherines, Cambridge and Waterloo. 

Receipt Bank launches new Pay app

Digital accounting platform Receipt Bank launched a new app on Monday called Pay in the UK. The new product promises “pain free payments” to upload, track and pay invoices in one app, rather than separate apps. Users can switch between paid and unpaid items, and see when invoices are close to their due date, to stay on top of their invoices and manage cash flow more effectively. The product will be released worldwide in 2021. 

By Canadian Accountant staff.

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