Dec 12, 2012 / 10:43 am
Ontario's cash-strapped government plans to write off at least $1.4 billion in unpaid taxes because it failed to act promptly and lacked the manpower to collect them, auditor general Jim McCarter found in his annual report.
The province, which is facing a $14.4-billion deficit, is owed about $2.4 billion in taxes, mostly from businesses, the report found. But it isn't doing enough to collect them.
About three-quarters of Ontario's tax collectors were transferred to the federal tax agency after the governing Liberals brought in the harmonized sales tax in July, 2010. At the time, the Liberals boasted that the move would reduce their spending by taking public servants off their payroll.
But it also hindered the province's ability to collect billions in back taxes, with some collectors seeing their workload double or even triple.
It took collectors an average of seven months to even attempt to contact a taxpayer by phone, and in two-thirds of cases there was at least one six-month gap where no action was taken, the auditor found. Field visits weren't made, and liens and warrants for the seizure and sale of properties weren't enforced.
"Taking prompt action is vital to collecting debts," McCarter said in a release. "Research shows that the probability of collecting money that's owed drops dramatically as time passes."
The $1.4 billion is mainly made up of older accounts that have accumulated over years, the report said.
Read more Business News
|QHR Technologies Inc||1.19||0.00|
|Anavex Life Sciences||0.315||-0.045|
|Copper Mountain Mining||1.58||0.00|
Big Picture Bank earnings and upbeat economic news highlight an active week In contrast with last week’s quieter, U.S. holiday-shortened week, the first week of December was a comparatively acti...
This column is the last of three, for how to prove your personal injury claim. It is the piece de resistance of the trilogy, the Chuck Norris piece – the final say! As mentioned in the first two...
Recently I recorded a video series for my keynote speaking business. It was called from Faith to Future. In one of the episodes, I talked about the concept of using hard work to get out of a difficul...
- Encana to cut spending, grow oil and natural gas liquids production in 2014
- CN forecasts double-digit earnings growth in 2014 on continued economic recovery
- Husky to boost production in 2014 as major projects come on stream
- Some of what has been said about Canada Post's plan to cut delivery services
- Laurentian Bank increases quarterly dividend despite missing analyst forecasts
- US government runs $135.2 billion budget deficit in November, 21.4 per cent below a year ago
- Hudson's Bay reports larger Q3 loss, due to costs associated with Saks' purchase
- Sales of extra-large smartphones will take off in 2014: tech prediction
- Pilot's fears came true as plane crashed
- 'Sound of Music,' Panthers-Saints game draw viewers to NBC, giving it a strong ratings week
- Raitt defends Canada Post's decision to phase out urban mail delivery
- Extreme weather apparel maker Canada Goose sells majority stake to Bain Capital