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Revenue minister asks CRA to investigate B.C. real estate speculators

Canadian Press THE CANADIAN PRESS

OTTAWA — National Revenue Minister Diane Lebouthillier has asked the Canada Revenue Agency to look into the actions of real estate speculators in B.C. following a newspaper investigation.

The Globe and Mail reported on the weekend that some foreign investors allegedly profit in buying homes in B.C. while evading taxes.

The federal minister says she is concerned by the allegations and has asked the CRA to look into them.

As Toronto tax litigation lawyer David J. Rotfleisch tells AdvocateDaily.com, the CRA had no choice but to launch an investigation after the detailed story was published by the Globe.

At the same time, Rotfleisch, founding tax lawyer at Rotfleisch & Samulovitch Professional Corporation, says the Globe story alleged a deliberate CRA hands-off policy in B.C.

“If those allegations are true, CRA is going to have to take broader action to restore public confidence in the agency,” he adds.

The request by Lebouthillier follows comments by B.C. Finance Minister Mike de Jong, who said the CRA must be diligent in enforcing the law in order to maintain the confidence of taxpayers.

De Jong says the 15 per cent tax on foreign homebuyers introduced in Vancouver last month was intended to address some of the issues raised in the Globe and Mail story, but did not specify whether the government would be taking any new actions.

- With files from AdvocateDaily.com

© 2016 The Canadian Press

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