Auditor General: Government hands out billions in tax breaks without proper oversight

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Auditor General: Government hands out billions in tax breaks without proper oversight

April 28, 2015

Jason Fekete, Ottawa Citizen

Finance Canada is failing to properly manage billions of dollars in tax credits it offers to Canadians and, in many cases, does not know if they are relevant, effective and achieving the government’s goals, says the federal auditor general.

The Finance Department also does not provide adequate information to parliamentarians on the tens of billions of dollars in so-called tax-based expenditures, Auditor General Michael Ferguson says in a stinging report released Tuesday.

Among his criticisms is the government’s failure to include the projected future cost of its many tax breaks.

. . .

“Overall, we concluded that the Department fell short on managing tax-based expenditures. We reached this conclusion because these expenditures were not systematically evaluated and the information reported did not adequately support parliamentary oversight,” Ferguson says in his report.

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