PBO says it cannot fully measure cost of tax avoidance due to incomplete data

Parliament's spending watchdog says he still does not have access to all the data his office needs to determine the amount of money the federal government loses each year to offshore tax havens and tax avoidance schemes.

Parliamentary Budget Officer Yves Giroux says the Canada Revenue Agency would only give his office aggregate tax data for a study his office has for years wanted to complete on Canada's tax gap.

Without a more fulsome, independent study of how big the problem of tax avoidance and evasion is, Giroux says it's hard for the government to understand how best to address it.

Last year, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said his government would agree to provide the information in a way that would ensure the protection of personal information of Canadians.

The information provided was so high-level it was unusable, Giroux says, but the office went ahead with a partial study on the more usable corporate data.

The results of the work are expected this summer and are to focus on domestic companies with foreign affiliates, or those based elsewhere with a presence in Canada.