CRA breaches famous Canadians privacy.

Statement from the Canada Revenue Agency - Accidental disclosure of taxpayer information to the media

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) confirms it accidentally disclosed confidential taxpayer information to a reporter.

The CRA acknowledges that the release of personal information constitutes a serious breach of privacy. The document was accidentally released to the CBC through human error.

When the CRA became aware of the breach, CRA officials immediately contacted the CBC to inform them of the error and retrieve the documents. Retrieval efforts continue.

The CBC did not respond to the CRA’s request to retrieve the information. Regrettably, the CBC chose to publicly disclose the names.

The CRA has launched an internal investigation into the privacy breach and its security protocols.

I have contacted the Privacy Commissioner of Canada to notify him of the privacy breach. The CRA will provide the Privacy Commissioner with a preliminary privacy breach report within 24 hours. Those individuals affected will be contacted by registered mail, provided with a dedicated phone number to call to get more information, and advised of their right to complain to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.

The CRA shares the concern and dismay of those individuals whose privacy has been impacted and sincerely regrets this error.

Andrew Treusch
Commissioner

November 26 2014.  CRA has a long string of privacy breaches.

This fiasco is just another example of how CRA causes tax problems and tax problem information. We find it interesting that CRA would release sensitive data to the media. We really wonder was it an accident or was it an angry CRA employee?

The fact that CRA had this information on a spreadsheet, shows how they are using information and recording it for ulterior motives.

 

On Tuesday the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reported that it had “inadvertently” received 18 pages of “detailed tax information” pertaining to hundreds of primarily rich and famous Canadians

The records were from a Canada Revenue Agency spreadsheet spanning from 2008 to 2013, and they included home addresses and information about tax credits granted for charitable donations.
According to the CBC, which says it is withholding some information for privacy purposes, tax details were found for prominent Canadians such as “author Margaret Atwood, former prime minister Jean Chrétien, grocery magnate Frank Sobey, cartoonist Lynn Johnston, pollster Allan Gregg, financier Stephen Bronfman, former CBC executive Richard Stursberg, Olympics chief Richard Pound, and many others.”

The list detailed how much money these donors claimed on their tax returns for a number of “cultural donations” including manuscripts, art, and even animated cells. It also showed what the Canada Revenue Agency ultimately determined the donations were worth. Donations included some personal papers worth a few thousand dollars, and even a $255 million Rubens painting that was given to the Art Gallery of Ontario (although the Canada Revenue Agency ultimately refused any tax credits for the Rubens, according to the CBC).

The CBC says that privacy breaches at the hands of the Canadian government “have become almost routine,” with more than 100 breaches between April 1 and July 31 this year. In that time period, Veterans Affairs suffered 38 breaches of private information, Citizenship and Immigration saw 31 breaches, and the Canada Revenue Agency had 14 breaches.

In addition, an October 2013 report done by Canada's Privacy Commissioner's Office found multiple instances of “breaches involving employees inappropriately accessing taxpayer information in recent years,” as well as "weaknesses in key privacy and security practices that led to taxpayer information not being protected as it should, with thousands of files being accessed inappropriately for years without detection."

In today's DAILY NEWS of Jan 8, 2015 CRA announces new money tracking rules.

Large electronic funds transfers must now be reported to CRA

"This is a bit of closing the barn door after the money has already gone off shore. However now it is just one more tool into Big Brother is watching you."

Canada Revenue Agency announced Wednesday that effective Jan. 1, and other financial companies and associations are now required to report electronic funds transfers of $10,000 and more.

These companies that have already been submitting reports to the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC) will now be also sending the same information to CRA so that Big Brother can track you.

It also applies to casinos and any entity engaged in the business of foreign exchange dealing, of remitting funds or transmitting funds by any means or through any entity in anyway whatsover.

While CRA's new rule is purportedly intended to identify taxpayers who participate in international aggressive tax avoidance the purpose of FINTRAC is to detect and deter money laundering and financing of terrorist activities. This is one of the latest thresholds into the privacy of citizens.

FINTRAC was established with the passage of Canada's Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act. That act imposes reporting and record-keeping requirements on several categories of firms, including life insurance companies, brokers or independent agents and securities dealers. Therefore this latest thrust is nothing other than data mining.

"Financial intermediaries will submit one report to both FINTRAC and the CRA at the same time," CRA stated Wednesday. "EFTs must be filed no later than five working days after the day the transfer occurred."

In addition to reporting EFTs of $10,000 or more, firms "must also report two or more EFTs of less than $10,000 each that are made within 24 consecutive hours by or on behalf of the same individual or entity when they total $10,000 or more, as these are considered to be a single transaction,

FINTRAC reports to the federal finance minister. One of its mandates is to detect "unusual patterns of transactions that resemble money laundering or terrorist financing activity," and in some cases to share that information with law enforcement agencies, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service or the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units. The Egmont Group's members include the United States Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and Britain's National Crime Agency, among others.