In the battle to reign in tax evasion, the Canadian Revenue Agency today announced they will be bringing the controversial practice of carding to major financial centres across the country.
“Yes, you heard that correctly,” said Maximillion Pound, newly appointed chief auditor for the CRA, in a press conference this morning. “Commencing today we’ll be conducting random checks of anyone who fits the statistics-based profile for a tax offender. Namely: male, wearing the paraphernalia of ostentation, and loitering in the corridors of the financial districts between the hours of 9 and 3:30, often conducting dubious transactions using coded terms relating to golf and squash.”
He explained that during the stops officers would seek to establish identity, look for materials that indicate an individual’s affiliation with a particular gang – or ‘firms’ as the members themselves refer to them – such as business cards and employees lounge access fobs, and attempt to passively ascertain the likelihood that an individual was complicit in tax avoidance. Pound refused to outline the precise details of just how that would be assessed during the stops, citing the need for some element of surprise.
At one point in the news conference Pound indirectly addressed the controversy sure to accompany the checks. “I realize not everyone is going to like these stops, particularly those being targeted, but the fact is we’ve been given a mandate to lower tax evasion, and we are going to take that fight to the streets.”
“Is it popular? No. Is it profiling? Yes. Is it effective? We’ll see. Are we doing it? Until we get made to stop.” He said, wrapping up the news conference in a flurry of his own questions and answers, dodging pointed queries from the gathered press regarding the legality of the stops, and comparisons to the controversial practice of police street checks, recently regulated against in a number of districts in Ontario, if somewhat reluctantly.
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