While the use of tax havens by companies and wealthy lose billions of dollars to Quebec and Ottawa, this does not preclude our Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec to be widely used.
Of all the major investment funds and pension in the world, the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec is one of the most fond of tax havens.
The Caisse holds investments in 348 companies incorporated in tax havens, for a total value ranging from 22 to 36 billion dollars. This “nebulous” gap of $ 14 billion can be explained by the vague estimate of the value that the Fund reports publicly about its private equity investments.
In handing me the list of companies that it owns in the tax haven, the Fund has, moreover, obliged to tell me that the value of the companies it holds in these jurisdictions the tax slightly decreased by a billion between 31 December 2018 and 31 December 2019.
Question : “When you say A billion $ less… it is compared to what total amount in 2018 ? “, I asked to the Cashier.
The OPACITY OF PRIVATE PLACEMENTS
It is Impossible to know, the Cashier refused to say the amount (or even the order of magnitude) on the grounds that it discloses only a range of value in respect of its investments in private companies.
The problem ? Plus the amount of the Fund’s investment in a private company is wholesale, the greater the range of value assigned to it is vague.
The Fund classifies its private equity investments in 11 ranges of value, of which the five largest have differentials of $ 150 million, $ 200 million to $ 500 million and even in excess of $ 500 million when the investment exceeds the value of $1.5 billion.
As lack of precision, it is hard to beat. This gives the impression that the senior management of the Fund cares about squarely in the mouth not only of the media that follow it, but also those of its depositors who, remember, represent all Quebecers.
THE FUND DEFENDS ITS HONOR
To justify its sustained presence in tax havens, to the point indeed where it has itself subsidiaries, the Caisse states that she does this in order to avoid a possible double taxation.
“Also, as we have said in the past, some of these assets [investments] are linked to investment funds established in jurisdictions called “neutral”. These are structured to allow scores of investors from different countries to partner and invest together while complying with the tax obligations of their country of domicile. “
But… ” The Cashier, she adds, complies with all laws and shall perform its tax obligations. We consider that it is totally unacceptable for anyone to practice any form of tax evasion. “
GREAT WELL DONE !
Good news : “Our goal, pointed out to me the Fund is clearly to reduce our exposure to tax jurisdictions reduced and we will continue in this direction. “
The Fund boasts even to influence its partners. “Each time that it is possible, the Fund is eager to influence its partners to develop financial structures outside of these jurisdictions – we have more than thirty successful examples during the past three years. “
Ah good ! It may be that the senior management of the Caisse is leading by example by closing its own branches that it has in the courts, taxation light, seven in the Cayman Islands and another in Bermuda.
COLOSSAL TAX LOSSES
How much is the tax losses are attributable to the use of tax havens ? To 3000 billion $ to the governments in the world ? 10 to 15 billion $ in Canada ? 1 to $ 2 billion for Quebec ? Or more ?
If it is impossible to know the exact magnitude of the tax losses, one thing is certain : the use of tax havens is a cancer tax.
All governments claim to fight against tax evasion. The government of Quebec is obviously part of the crusade. He never misses an opportunity to defend the under tax.
Where governments lose credibility in the fight they claim to pursue against the users of tax havens, that is, when their sovereign wealth funds themselves have recourse to tax havens to grow their investment portfolios.
As is the case with the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec the government of Québec.
The irony is : the government of François Legault has just granted a financial aid of $ 277 million to the owners of the Circus of the Sun, the main two, the american fund TPG and the chinese fund Fosun, exert their influence on the Circus through subsidiaries incorporated in the Cayman Islands.
And to top it all, I remind you that the Fund has acquired in February last the last block of shares of Cirque, Guy Laliberté held in a company registered in the Cayman Islands.
The fight against tax havens, what a farce !