Fast facts about Canada's underground economy Halifax NS
Saint John, NB
Fast facts about Canada's underground economy
• The underground economy refers to economic activity that is taxable, but isn't reported to tax authorities.
• Certain sectors are more vulnerable to underground activity such as construction and hospitality.
• Taking cash to avoid paying tax is cheating. It's cheating Canadians who do pay their taxes, businesses that have to compete with lower prices, and customers and workers who may not be covered if disaster strikes.
• It's a myth that taking cash and keeping no records makes you immune to taxes. If your lifestyle is not in line with the income you report, and you cannot explain the difference, your taxes will be assessed anyway based on an estimate of your income. You might then have to pay interest, penalties and even face prosecution.
• Cheaters do get caught as the Canada Revenue Agency has an aggressive program to detect and deter those Canadians who do not report their income.
• The Agency has over 1,000 employees dedicated specifically to catching these underground operators. Once caught, cheaters can face prosecution, hefty fines, and jail time. If you want to do some homework on the issue, go to the Taxpayer Alert section of www.cra.gc.ca, and click on the Underground Economy link.