Conservative MP Adam Chambers (Simcoe North, ON) said Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) data confirms a significant drop in the number of auditors targeting wealthy tax filers, according to Blacklock’s Reporter. “Are they reshuffling resources within the Agency?” said Chambers at a House of Commons Finance Committee meeting. “I have a suspicion about what the answer is.”The CRA said in an inquiry of ministry tabled in the House of Commons the number of net worth audits peaked at 1,594 in 2018 and has since declined by two-thirds to 461 last year. Taxes collected through net worth audits in 2018 totalled $132.6 million. Last year’s figure was $97.4 million — a 27% reduction. “The number of net worth assessments completed by the Canada Revenue Agency has dropped over 54% certainly within the last five or six years,” said Chambers. “Have we spoken to our friends at the Canada Revenue Agency to ask what is happening there?”With the number of net worth assessments based on actionable intelligence, Chambers said they experienced a proportionate drop. He added he suspects actionable intelligence reports sent to the CRA have not dropped. The CRA did not explain the decline in special audits. The figures followed in-house research published in 2022 finding public skepticism that audits are applied fairly. “There is a segment of high net worth individuals who use various strategies of tax avoidance and evasion to avoid paying what they owe,” said the CRA. “One of the core mandates of the Canada Revenue Agency is ensuring people and businesses appropriately report and pay the taxes they owe.”When asked if the CRA is putting too much, too little, or about the right amount of effort into detecting tax evasion by wealthy Canadians, it found 53% think there was too little effort. When asked about the job it does in ensuring wealthy Canadians pay their fair share in taxes, it said 34% rated it poorly. One-quarter said auditors did a good or excellent job. “The impression that’s being left with many taxpayers is you’re picking the low-hanging fruit, the student who’s moving out to Calgary to get a job and is claiming their moving expenses,” said Conservative Sen. Elizabeth Marshall (Newfoundland and Labrador). Data published in November showed the CRA doubled the number of audits aimed at small businesses starting in 2016.READ MORE: CRA doubled ‘low-hanging fruit’ small business auditsThese statistics align with ongoing complaints it tends to pursue what is perceived as low-hanging fruit rather than focusing on multinational corporations with sophisticated tax avoidance strategies.It confirmed in an inquiry of ministry tabled in the House of Commons the number of audits conducted on small- and medium-sized businesses across Canada had increased from 13,331 in 2015 to more than 28,000 in 2017, doubling during this period.