Mr. Speaker, combatting aggressive international tax planning is a priority for the Canada Revenue Agency. Since this government came to power, we have stepped up our emphasis on such activities.
To combat tax havens and other forms of aggressive tax planning, the CRA continuously adapts its approach to meet a changing socio-economic environment. To do this, the CRA takes on initiatives that may sometimes lead to fluctuations in its workforce and funding over time. As well, changes in workforce reporting criteria sometimes result in perceived fluctuations when in fact our workforce has not changed.
Our agility in adapting to changes in society and the economy is crucial in the fight against tax cheating. Unpaid taxes mean fewer funds for health care, child tax benefits, employment insurance and pensions. The CRA aggressively pursues international tax avoidance and evasion, including individuals who hide their incomes in offshore accounts and fail to report it.
The government has committed an additional $30 million annually since 2005-06 to address aggressive tax planning. The CRA has increased audit coverage of aggressive international tax planning with concrete results. Last year, the CRA uncovered over $1.9 billion in unpaid federal tax from Canadians involved in aggressive tax planning.
The CRA works with its international partners in many forums such as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the Joint International Tax Shelter Information Centre. As a result, the CRA uncovers more individuals hiding income to avoid taxes. We have 87 tax treaties. We also have many tax information exchange agreements with countries that assist us in combatting tax evasion.
The CRA operates 11 centre of expertise across Canada, where audit professionals focus on uncovering aggressive international tax planning. Our work on aggressive tax planning is having a major impact. For example, in 2006-07, the CRA reassessed about 14,600 individuals and identified $1.4 billion in additional taxes. In 2007-08 we reassessed over 20,000 individuals who participated in unacceptable tax shelter gifting arrangements, resulting in over $335 million in taxes. In 2008-09 we audited over 35,600 Canadians who tried to avoid paying taxes. These audits identified nearly $1.5 billion in taxes.
The CRA has revoked the registration of 39 charities for participating in abusive tax shelters. When the CRA uncovers cases of tax evasion, the individual or business involved is required to pay all taxes owing, plus interest and penalties. If convicted, individuals could spend up to five years in jail and pay court-imposed fines of up to 200% of the tax they sought to evade. This is on top of the taxes, interest and penalties they would owe from the CRA's reassessment.