Canadians Say They Are Ready To Cheat On Taxes: Poll

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OTTAWA—A new poll commissioned by the taxman suggests half of Canadians are ready to cheat with under-the-table cash payments.

The survey conducted for the Canada Revenue Agency found only 49 per cent of people aren’t likely to cheat because most of those are probably already cheating.

The others were open to cutting corners, usually by paying cash for goods and services.

However, almost all are reluctant to fudge on their actual tax returns, preferring under-the-table deals to dodge taxes.

The survey didn’t say how much is lost to tax cheats, but in July, Statistics Canada estimated that the underground economy in Canada was worth as much as $36 billion in 2008, a 90 per cent increase over 1992.

At the time of the StatsCan release, the revenue agency said it used “a mix of outreach, education, and communications, as well as enforcement and audit actions to combat” the underground economy.

“The CRA plans on continuing its efforts to combat the underground economy. It continues to be a high priority, and the CRA will use the study’s findings to further improve its tools and activities.”

The newly released poll by Phoenix Strategic Perspectives Inc. was conducted Jan. 29-Feb. 28 this year. The survey sample of 3,884 people gives it a margin of error of plus or minus 1.9 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

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