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Canadian tax-evasion fight zeros in on transactions involving Israeli bank

Last Updated Nov 13, 2017 at 12:50 pm PDT

The Canada Revenue Agency headquarters in Ottawa is shown on November 4, 2011. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

OTTAWA (NEWS 1130) – The Canada Revenue Agency is seeking information from three Canadian banks about customer transactions linked to an Israeli financial institution as part of a federal crackdown on offshore tax evaders.

Newly filed court records reveal the agency wants to see account records associated with Bank Hapoalim to determine whether Canadians are concealing income or assets.

The Federal Court of Canada filings come amid renewed public pressure on the government to show it is taking steps to find and penalize Canadians who improperly use offshore accounts to avoid paying taxes.

Like many foreign banks, Bank Hapoalim has correspondent accounts in Canada to conduct Canadian dollar transactions on behalf of its customers.

The revenue agency is asking the Bank of Montreal, Royal Bank and Toronto-Dominion Bank for records of deposits, cheques and electronic funds transfers associated with Bank Hapoalim’s correspondent accounts.

The agency says the records will be reviewed and analyzed under the direction of its offshore compliance section and, where warranted, lead to formal audits.