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

Mixed bag of weather ahead for Chilliwack

Week starts off with rain before clearing for sunnier days midweek

Watercolours by late Chilliwack artist to be unveiled at Yarrow Library

The public is invited to a special unveiling of three of Heinz Klassen’s watercolour paintings

Yarrow Library one of the stops on Cubetto’s grand tour

FVRL’s friendly wooden robot, Cubetto, travels throughout Fraser Valley to teach programming basics

No home for Agassiz Community Garden on school district land

The garden is still homeless after SD78 said no to the society using the McCaffrey School property

Chilliwack PEO: ‘We who are sisters’

International oganization celebrating 150 years of service

Sri Lanka invokes war-time military powers after nearly 300 killed in Easter bombings

Sri Lanka’s minister of tourism says 39 foreign tourists were killed in the Easter Sunday attacks

Bodies of 3 mountain climbers recovered after last week’s Banff avalanche

The men disappeared while attempting to climb the east face of Howse Peak in the Icefields Parkway

Happy birthday: Queen Elizabeth II turns 93 on Easter Sunday

Sunday is the first of two birthday celebrations each year for the queen

RCMP confirm witnesses say body found at Kelowna’s Gyro Beach

Police tape is blocking part of the beach and several RCMP officers are on scene.

Police say ‘no major incidents’ at 4/20, Vancouver Park Board assessing

The first smoke-out held since legalization saw 60,000 people at Vancouver’s Sunset Beach

VIDEO: Langley firefighters spend hours battling blaze in vacant home

Cause of the late-night fire in Willoughby is still under investigation

B.C. fire department rescues kittens

Enderby homeowner not aware kittens in wood pile near garbage pile fire that got out of hand

RCMP looking for witnesses to four-vehicle crash in Burnaby

Police suspect impaired driving was a contributing factor

Most Read