Mr. Speaker, let me be absolutely clear. Tax evasion has been a priority for our government ever since we took office. As I mentioned before, we have made historic investments in the CRA to combat tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance.
The CRA is focusing resources in areas of highest risk domestically and internationally. As I pointed out in my speech, we are proud of our results. We have improved our ability to link information from various sources domestically and internationally so that we can better identify those taxpayers most likely to be avoiding their tax obligations. From the start of our mandate in 2015 through September 30, 2017, for offshore-related files alone, as of December 31, 2017, the Canada Revenue Agency has been conducting audits of more than 1,100 taxpayers, and is criminally investigating more than 20 cases of tax evasion.
We will continue to apply penalties to all those cases of serious tax non-compliance. We are aggressively pursuing each and every case to make it absolutely clear to tax evaders that no matter where they are, the consequences or penalties of tax avoidance are extremely severe.