Thank you for the question.
CRA always starts with the confidentiality provision of the Income Tax Act. We always see section 241 of the Income Tax Act as some kind of bubble that every employee who gets into CRA defers to. The briefing they have is don't share information, but there are always ways whereby we can share information.
There are five or six ways when we can share information with the law enforcement community, and also with FINTRAC. The examples I shared earlier in my appearance relate to the Panama Papers. We were almost at a loss there as to how we could generate a good, solid investigation when we only had business structures overseas. By having met our threshold to initiate an investigation and then sharing information accordingly—because it was in the best interest of the administration of the Income Tax Act—with FINTRAC, FINTRAC then provided us with the financial transaction. That relationship is key for the criminal investigation division.
If I just look over the last few years we had 125 disclosures from FINTRAC in 2013-14 and in 2016-17 we had 209 disclosures, and for just the first three quarters of 2017-18 we're almost at 213. So we receive more information from FINTRAC than ever, but at the same time we also contribute information to FINTRAC when we have active investigations. As it relates to information sharing with law enforcement, there are also provisions there for the CRA to share information with law enforcement when law enforcement comes to us with either a tax order or when they are investigating serious crimes. There are provisions in the Income Tax Act to share information.
Then when we have a joint investigation with law enforcement, there are provisions there so that we can share information. Although CRA is always perceived to be a taker of information, we are becoming more of a partner in the fight against money laundering and tax evasion.