B.C. Finance Minister Carole James. (Black Press Media)

B.C. takes aim at ‘shell companies’ hiding property ownership

Finance Minister Carole James says law to prevent tax evasion, money laundering

The B.C. government is changing legislation to force businesses and partnerships to disclose the actual owners of property, as part of its effort to curtail tax evasion and money laundering.

Finance Minister Carole James introduced two bills Tuesday, one to require disclosure of property owners, and another to set up a “transparency registry” to keep records up to date and curtail the use of “shell companies” to avoid identification.

“Currently companies are susceptible to being used for criminal activity, as they are able to hide the identity of the owners of the company,” James told the legislature. “The transparency register will be kept in a company’s records office, and information on it will be accessible to the police, tax authorities and regulators in investigation.”

James said the goal is to have the registry in operation by 2020, listing beneficial ownership for corporations and trusts.

The Land Owner Transparency Act will be backed up by random audits to ensure compliance, and there will be fines for failing to register.

“For years, people were able to use shell companies, trusts and partnerships to hide who really owned the property in British Columbia,” James said. “The act sets out a framework for increasing transparency of ownership in the province by requiring disclosure from corporations, trustees and partnerships about the underlying owners of land.”


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Nisga’a leader named UNBC chancellor

Dr. Joseph Arthur Gosnell is the first Indigenous leader to assume the role

A medical first saved Ryan Jones’ life

The 25-year-old Smithers man is almost fully recovered after being effectively dead.

Steelheads recruiting event shows promise

A small but enthusiastic group of organizers is hoping to put a Smithers team back in the CIHL

Fletcher disregards facts on climate action

Letter writer Macrae says inaction jeopardizes jobs

Open letter to the minister of education on school violence

Dear Minister Flemming, On May 24 of last year I had the… Continue reading

VIDEO: ‘Alarm bells’ raised by footage allegedly from B.C. pig farm, SPCA says

PETA released video Wednesday showing dead and injured piglets next to nursing piglets

VIDEO: Driver in bizarre hit-and-run at B.C. car dealership turns herself in

Police believe alcohol was a factor in incident causing estimated $15,000 in damages

Haida youth travels to New York for UN forum on Indigenous issues

Haana Edensaw presented her speech in Xaad Kil, Masset dialect of the Haida language

Female real estate agents warned of suspicious man in Metro Vancouver

The man requests to see homes alone with the female agent, police say

Can you put your phone down for Mother’s Day?

#DiningMode campaign encourages people to leave the phone alone while eating

Horgan heckled as gas prices sit at record high, could go up more

Premier John Horgan blames refiners, not taxes

SPCA investigating after newborn kittens found in Vancouver dumpster

The kittens were found suffering from hypothermia and dehydration

Judge rejects hunter’s bid to get back a sheep shot in northern B.C.

Despite expert testimony, judgement says ram probably underage

‘B.C. cannot wait for action’: Top doctor urges province to decriminalize illicit drugs

Dr. Bonnie Henry says current approach in ‘war on drugs’ has criminalized and stigmatized drug users

Most Read