In 2016, the Panama Papers leak sparked renewed interest in clamping down on tax evasion, unacceptable avoidance, and other factors that contribute to the loss of tax revenue. The value of tax revenue that should be collected compared to the actual amount that is collected is called the tax gap. This issue raises the question of tax fairness since it implies that some individuals and corporations are not paying their fair share of taxes, increasing the burden on compliant taxpayers.
A paper published by Canada Revenue Agency in June 2016 estimates that non-compliance has caused an average annual loss in potential GST/HST revenues of 5.6 per cent for every year from 2000 to 2014. This analysis seeks to estimate the potential size of Canada’s tax gap by drawing on information provided by tax agencies in other countries and studies that have attempted to quantify such gaps.