Backgrounder Article from
Offshore Compliance Advisory Committee
In Budget 2016, the Government of Canada followed through on its commitment to enhance its efforts to strengthen tax compliance and combat tax avoidance and evasion, including offshore tax schemes, by proposing to invest $444.4 million over five years for the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).
On April 11, 2016, Minister of National Revenue, Diane Lebouthillier, announced the creation of an independent advisory committee on offshore tax evasion and aggressive tax planning to build on the measures established through Budget 2016. The Offshore Compliance Advisory Committee (OCAC) will be composed of seven independent experts with significant legal, judicial and tax administration experience.
The members will provide input to the Minister and the CRA on additional administrative strategies for offshore compliance to build on the Budget 2016 investment.
The OCAC’s first meeting will be in spring, 2016, and its initial areas of focus will include:
- Strategies to help alleviate and discourage offshore non-compliance;
- Administrative policies being used by other tax administrations to address this global issue
- Advice to the CRA in moving forward with its measurement of the tax gap;
- Additional strategies and practices related to promoters of tax schemes; and
- Potential ways to improve the CRA’s criminal investigation functions.
The OCAC will be chaired by Dr. Colin Campbell. Dr. Campbell is currently Associate Professor of Law at Western University and a published author on tax matters. The Committee’s Vice-Chair is Kimberley Brooks, Associate Professor of the Schulich school of Law at Dalhousie University. Ms. Brooks, a member of the Canadian Tax Foundation Board of Governors and a member of the International Fiscal Association, practiced law in Toronto and the United Kingdom.
Biographies of the Chair and Vice-Chair
Dr. Colin Campbell (Chair), Associate Professor of Law at Western University
- Formerly a senior tax partner at the Toronto office of Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP
- Formerly an assistant professor of political science at Mount Allison University in Sackville, New Brunswick
- Received his B.A. in 1966 from the University of Toronto, his M.Sc. from the London School of Economics and Political Science in 1967, his Ph.D. in 1975 from the University of Toronto, his LL.B. from the University of Western Ontario in 1980 and called to the Ontario bar in 1982
- Dr. Campbell’s practice included international tax, trusts, mergers and acquisitions, public securities offerings and restructurings and acting for private family enterprises in domestic and international trust matters
- Author of numerous publications, including most recently Administration of Income Tax 2015 (Carswell, 2015)
Kimberley Brooks (Vice-Chair), Associate Professor, Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University
- Former Dean, Schulich School of Law, (2010 to 2015)
- Former H. Heward Stikeman Chair in Tax Law at McGill University Faculty of Law
- B.A. (University of Toronto); LL.B (University of BC); Master of Law (Taxation) at Osgoode Hall Law School (York University)
- Member of the Canadian Tax Foundation Board of Governors and member of the International Fiscal Association
- Previously taught in the faculties of law at McGill, UBC and Queen’s
- Prior to moving to academia, practiced tax law with the national law firm Stikeman Elliot LLP in their Toronto and London (UK) offices
- Main research interests are in the area of corporate and international tax law and policy and tax administration
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