Call for Reform of Voluntary Disclosure Program

In a column published in the October 27, 2009 edition of the National Post, Diane Francis called for reform of Canada’s Voluntary Disclosure Program (VDP). According to the column, it is estimated that Canadians own $100 billion in unreported off-shore assets and reform of the VDP would increase taxpayer compliance and the government’s tax revenues.

The column suggests that Canada create a temporary amnesty program similar to the program established by the IRS in response to unreported Swiss bank accounts held by American taxpayers. The column points out that the VDP is ineffective because it can produce unpredictable outcomes and does not offer any relief on the tax portion of any outstanding balance.