Tax havens put state finances under enormous pressure. Each year, wealthy taxpayers and large companies circumvent the law by using tax havens to avoid their tax obligations, with a huge effect on the financing of public services. Offshore jurisdictions also allow multinationals to build a network of subsidiaries to circumvent both their tax obligations and environmental and social standards.
There is an urgent need for governments to deal with this problem and to find a solution to eliminate it entirely. All too often, they reduce the phenomenon of tax evasion to the issue of non-declared workers, while billions escape them through tax havens.
Greatly concerned by the inaction of governments, more than a dozen organisations in Quebec have set up the collective An end to tax havens, which in 2011 developed and conducted a first awareness campaign asking the population to send a postcard to the Minister of Finance of Québec and the establishment of a critical information website.
A second campaign entitled Tax havens: lift the veil! was carried out in 2013
Lastly, a massive mobilization campaign led by Oxfam-Québec, in collaboration with the collective An end to tax havens, Alain Deneault and Ecosociété, À la recherche des milliards perdus, mettons fin à l’ère des paradis fiscaux (Searching for the lost billions, end the era of tax havens), was launched in April 2016. Over a hundred organizations and public figures supported the joint statement.
The work of raising public awareness and political representation has given some initial results:
The government initiated a tightening of tax incentives for businesses following the Godbout commission on taxation in Quebec.