T.G.I.Friday Free-for-all!

All hail the glorious weekend!

It’s the end of another work-week in paradise and that means it’s time for our regular end of the week news round up and open topic discussion thread for the weekend.

Friday Free-for-all time!

Here are a few recent links to kick off the chat:

Don’t mess with the market
‘They’ve earned it’
pointing fingers
poverty in a $3 mil house
may as well get welfare
ready to give up?
so who’s happy?
time to buy?
Fed says watch out Canada

So what are you seeing out there? Post your news links, thoughts and anecdotes here and have an excellent weekend!

Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
sandybrooks
Guest
sandybrooks

Call this what it is, tax evasion

[province] failure to collaborate with Ottawa on a simple audit and enforcement strategy to cross reference annual reported incomes on CRA Notices of Assessment with annual B.C. Property Tax Assessments as a starting point

the federal government has not vigorously enforced real estate agent and financial intuition compliance with FINTRAC reporting rules for cash transactions aimed at money launderers and criminals who park their ill-gotten gains in B.C. real estate

because other Pacific Rim countries such as Australia, New Zealand, and the U.S enforce their anti-money laundering rules stringently while Canada does not.

fanaticallybroke
Guest
fanaticallybroke
@ 1 Bingo. There has been gross incompetence at all levels of government. here we are discussing to death the minutiae of the Senators’ expense scandal which adds up to nothing and then homes are bought for ten of millions using money laundering by people wanted for crimes in their own country. I would says Christy is the biggest culprit in this. It is our Province which is the recipient of most of the sham Quebec entrants, she can see what an incredible pressure there is on families , even the Mayor has finally said do something…and she completely ignores it and is content to see this tsunami of off-shore money come here, buy homes and leave them empty. She wont even obtain the data. Just dismisses it, basically saying the higher home prices go the better, no matter buys… Read more »
fanaticallybroke
Guest
fanaticallybroke

BTW FINTRAC and CRA are jokes.

Try depositing a few thousand in cash at your local bank and the teller will be all over you asking you what the source is.

Wait for the CRA to ask for your driving log for car expenses.

And then some turkey farmer can transfer enough money in, no questions asked, to buy a $30 M house. WTF??!

George
Guest
George
Quote from the Van Sun opinion piece linked to in post #1: “Recall the $300 million in cuts in 2012 to the Canada Revenue Agency’s enforcement budget, the layoff of 3,000 auditors, and the recent dismissal of 61 of its most experienced auditors able to go after the big international cheats, if only given the resources.” Despite the cuts to Canada Revenue Agency, they still have more than enough resources to go after the small guy. I got a letter in the mail last week from CRA saying the’ve looked over my tax returns for the past few years and figure I owe them a couple hundred dollars. I’m someone who for most of my working life has made little more than minimum wage and CRA says I underpaid my taxes by about $200. Given all the cuts to CRA,… Read more »
George
Guest
George
I absolutely LOVE this quote from that Van Sun opinion piece linked to in post #1. Thank you, lawyer Samuel Hyman for telling it like it is! “Senior governments’ failure to enforce the income tax laws result in the unfair and unsustainable practice of endlessly covering revenue shortfalls by increasing and expanding regressive sales taxes, government fees, assessments, and special levies on those who pay their income taxes while letting income-tax cheats carry on defrauding the treasury with a perception of growing impunity. This adds to a growing sense of unfairness in the system among those who currently obey the tax laws. The backlash against the HST and the recent proposed 0.5-per-cent sales tax increase to fund TransLink in the Lower Mainland — where 30,000-40,000 households declare less annual income on their federal income tax returns than the property tax… Read more »
George
Guest
George
It seems like things are really heating up here in BC, and I’m not talking about the weather. That opinion piece is a doozy. How are these opinions making their way into the mainstream media? Every day, the big corporate media has another story about the ill effects of foreign money in Canada. The Premier has been put in the hot seat and forced to address the issue of HAM. Several other cabinet ministers have been pressed about it. There was that story about the Richmond neighbourhood with million dollar homes and low incomes. We’ve all known about that on the blogs for years, but it was exciting to see it brought to the mainstream media. There’s the stories about how Vancouverites are the least happiest in the nation and so many of us want to move away. Something is… Read more »
patriotz
Member

@6:

As everyone knows, the big political event of 2015 (outside Alberta) will be the Federal election. Simply put, if Conservative support remains at its current level that’s going to send the message that voters are happy with the status quo, regardless of anything else you hear. If it falls, that will send a message that they aren’t.

Elections are what make or break politicians and they are far, far more important than anything else you or the media can do.

Westside Realtor
Guest
Westside Realtor

That is a great article (financial post link in the previous thread) it nails it. Damn.

George, I’ve noted that also. It is like all of a sudden the volume is being turned up on this, somewhat incessantly. Seems too concentrated and pervasive to be a random event.

So, why?

Election? Warm up the masses and get them excited about some targeted taxation? I dunno.

Can’t be making GAM feel warm and fuzzy, like cockroaches, they don’t want the bright light shined on them.

Interesting.

In any event, I stand by my views that we r seeing some cooling from red red hot (following the rate cut) to just hot…if the bond market were to sell off and push mtg rates higher…whammo..

WSR

Bo Xilai
Member
Bo Xilai

#4 George

My BIL was one of those “most experienced” tax auditors let go by CRA a few years ago… Your experience makes complete sense. The Conservatives instituted a system where “quick wins” (where have I heard that before?) were rewarded… Small potatoes gleaned quickly were applauded, where large investigations for multi-million dollar frauds were frowned upon. CRA has become a “shake down” culture where small businesses without teams of tax lawyers on retainer are seen as easy marks to make revenue targets.

Egg Hunt
Guest
Egg Hunt
Yesterday’s post #97 >Space TO be Permanent resident by IIP, you need to show minimum $1.6M assets and at least 2 years of active business management history. Doubt housewife and children confirmed these condition, overseas husband must have been primary applicant. If not, all of a sudden, wife claims zero income, although more than two years business management history, sitting in mansion with her children, husband absent – he has residential tie with Canada. Btw, residential ties are often abused by new immigrant to keep their residency while they are overseas till they obtain Canadian citizenships, not to file income taxes (of course). My point is, those type of new immigrants from China, as government recent commented, give close to no value to our economy. I understand most what they are doing is legal, ok, no tax dodge, but the… Read more »
Egg Hunt
Guest
Egg Hunt

> George

Agree and our government chasing wrong people all the time.

Remember exotic animal smuggler, who was arrested in U.S, was actually from Richmond, B.C?

U.S. government enforcement busted his Richmond, B.C. house and further found ivory sculptures, bear hand medicine, etc etc.

How this guy brought in all those in Canada, and never been caught?

On the other hand, border agency giving very hard time for no criminal history, honest Canadian family when coming back from weekend U.S. grocery shopping.

patriotz
Member

Rosenberg: Get ready for rising U.S. labour demand

The data are lumpy and the year-over-year trend is less severe at plus-1.8 per cent. But any cost-plus analysis would suggest that 2-per-cent-plus inflation is not too far out in the future.

And guess what? This is probably the new environment the bond market is repricing itself for.

trutch
Guest
trutch

There was a great editorial yesterday on the Vancouver Sun but didn’t make it online.

Calling the province study a joke for having been prepared by RE industry.

Calling current studies worthless because they’re done by parties that have big conflicts of interest and want prices to keep climbing, RE commissions, province transfer taxes.

Calling for independent, honest, third party review of foreign ownership data by someone that doesn’t have anything to gain or lose in the current market.

trutch
Guest
trutch
There’s another one today, unfortunately quoting Scam M. From the comments: Hey Benjamin Tal – the question of whether it’s foreign investment is pretty simple. If it hasn’t been put through a canadian tax return – it’s Foreign! It hasn’t paid canadian taxes for roads, health, infrastructure etc, so it should be taxed as it enters real estate accordingly. The Canadian marginal rate is 40+ % depending where you live, so I think that is a suitable levy on incoming capital being placed into housing. That would solve some deficits, but both the left and right want to pander to the ethnic voting blocs. Ya it’s not obvious enough let’s charge tax payers for another useless/bias data report! lol, walking down Robson st, driving around the lower mainland or in the Malls, Canada has sped up it’s natural progression and… Read more »
Brian Ripley
Guest
Brian Ripley
This week I created a new chart of Canadian Household Debt with additional plots of GDP, Foreign Direct Investment and Balance of Trade: http://www.chpc.biz/household-debt.html I think the mashup demonstrates at least one effect of our last 7 years of monetary policy… that one of our biggest exports is cheap capital invested by “Canadian” companies into cheaper offshore Labour than our own. With respect to household debt, the mashup reveals that in the last 7 years Canadians are increasing their debt levels at a time when the negative trade balance is at the worst chronic levels ever. I don’t see how the inflationistas are going to win the bet that real estate asset values are going to continue to rise if the value of Labour is not along for the ride. I suppose the 1 to 10 percenters could buy up… Read more »
southseacompany
Member
southseacompany
“The problem with Stephen Poloz’s view of the housing market”, Canadian Business magazine http://www.canadianbusiness.com/economy/stephen-poloz-and-the-housing-market/ “The Bank of Canada’s soothing messages about the housing market sound eerily like the U.S. Fed’s just before the crash” “In early 2004, as American house prices roared higher and there came dire warnings from some quarters about the existence of a bubble—accompanied, of course, by strident denials from banks, most economists and the mortgage and real estate industries—Ben Bernanke (then still a governor before he became Fed chairman) addressed the problem of what to tell the American people. “One’s inclination is to answer by painting a benign picture so as not to cause unnecessary public concern,”” “Last year the economist Paul Krugman offered one of the best explanations I’ve seen yet as to why bubbles are so hard to spot, until they pop. A thoroughly… Read more »
@6
Guest
@6
The media (and Vancouver !) reminds me of Kent Brockmann: Kent Brockman mistakenly assumes the Earth is about to be invaded by giant space ants. Fearing for his life, he announces his willingness to submit to the imagined invaders. The Corvair spacecraft has apparently been taken over — ‘conquered’ if you will — by a master race of giant space ants. It’s difficult to tell from this vantage point whether they will consume the captive earth men or merely enslave them. “One thing is for certain: there is no stopping them; the ants will soon be here. And I for one welcome our new insect overlords. I’d like to remind them that as a trusted TV personality, I can be helpful in rounding up others to toil in their underground sugar caves.” Then when the invasion fails: Well, this reporter… Read more »
Brian Ripley
Guest
Brian Ripley
On the subject taxation. I stumbled upon a taxation model “The Automated Payment Transaction Tax (APT)” by Edgar L. Feige PhD, University of Wisconsin Professor of Economics. His original paper was published in 2000 and later expanded. His idea is to collect a micro-fee on every financial transaction split equally between the two sides of the transaction. The model based on the U.S. economy of the early 2000’s required a transaction fee of 0.6% (split 50/50 by both sides of the transaction)… ie: someone spending $100,000 would pay $300 in “tax” (the receiver would also pay $300). The model would eliminate the tax complex. Gone would be personal, corporate, property, estate, capital gain, income, sales, excise and all manner of taxes or levies disguised as fees as well as the elimination of tax returns, deductions and special interest exemptions. http://www.brianripley.com/pamphleteer/category/apttaxe023357302… Read more »
VanRant
Member
VanRant

Pretty shocking that it came from the (RE Pumper) SUN…

“A recent attempt by the B.C. Real Estate Association to provide explanations, however, did not adequately meet this legitimate desire.

First, the association’s analysis provided estimates only, both of the effect of offshore buyers on the region’s housing market and the percentage of properties being left unoccupied.

Second, the association represents the interests of its 18,500 realtor members, 12,000 of whom work in Greater Vancouver. Thus, it cannot be considered a disinterested party.

Yet, the provincial finance ministry to date has relied on the association’s data and opinions in assessing whether to take action to calm the housing market.

Nor is the provincial government a truly disinterested party.”

http://www.vancouversun.com/business/Editorial+Housing+affordability+issue+requires+independent+review/11144690/story.html

franko
Member
Active Member
franko

@7
Although patriotz may want to use the 2015 Federal election to get his licks in for his own agenda, he is absolutely right that it will be our biggest opportunity to let ALL candidates (including Justin and Mulk) know just how pissed off we are about foreign ownership.

It is absolutely outrageous not to know or care who is buying up our country, and significant changes cannot happen without the cooperation of key ministries like CRA and Immigration in Ottawa. The cost to implement a tracking system would be a tiny fraction of what is blown away by the Senate and the totally benign army of Poloz whose salary alone is three times that of Yellen.

It’s time to claim our city and culture back.
The rally on June 24th should be a good starting point.

w00t!
Guest
w00t!

The issues facing the city and increasingly the island need to be addressed. If they aren’t they will boil over in very negative ways. Assuming it isn’t already too late for that already.

VanRant
Member
VanRant
Call this what it is: tax evasion According to a recent CBC report, the federal government has not vigorously enforced real estate agent and financial intuition compliance with FINTRAC reporting rules for cash transactions aimed at money launderers and criminals who park their ill-gotten gains in B.C. real estate because other Pacific Rim countries such as Australia, New Zealand, and the U.S enforce their anti-money laundering rules stringently while Canada does not. To permit foreign nationals to acquire permanent resident status for themselves and their dependents without becoming resident for income tax purposes for the duration of their PR status is an abomination. It creates an attachment disorder for those who would obtain all of the benefits of Canadian residence and a pathway to precious citizenship for themselves and/or their dependents without their assuming any responsibility to contribute their fair… Read more »
Many Franks
Member
Active Member

With the “Give Us The Data” rally upcoming, I think it would be useful to collect past unanswered calls for data. I’ve started a thread for this:

http://vancouverpeak.com/showthread.php?tid=5329

If the speakers at that rally can say that consistent, clear calls for data have gone unanswered for half a decade, rather than “hey, does anyone have data?” I think it’ll be much tougher for the old “we shouldn’t do anything until we know more” line to prevail.

(Admin, if you think this idea has value, consider headlining it tomorrow or Monday.)

VanRant
Member
VanRant

I can sense people are mad at the high cost of housing in Canada. It will be great timing for Justin or Mulcair to step up and make it an election issue.

DaMann
Member
DaMann

It’s all fine and good to say vote them out in the election and have your voices be heard but the problem is we have 3 parties. The left vote is going to get split between the Libs and NDP. Once again the Cons will take power.

wpDiscuz