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article imagePoll finds most Canadians confess to cheating the CRA taxman

By Andrew Moran     Sep 20, 2012 in Business
Calgary - With excessive taxation inflicting much of Canada, citizens want to keep as much money of theirs as possible. A new study suggests that they are doing exactly that by paying cash in order to avoid the taxman.
Do you cheat the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)? Don’t worry, even if you do then you’re just one of the many Canadians who have admitted to evading the taxman by paying cash to avoid the sales taxes, according to a recent Leger Marketing poll commissioned by H&R Block.
The bureaucrats at CRA may have reason to worry as more than one quarter (30 percent) don’t believe it’s wrong. The demographics vary, though, on taxation. Only 17 percent of those between the ages of 18 to 34 said it was wrong to pay cash to avoid the sales tax, while nearly half (43 percent) of those older than 65 said it was wrong.
It also found that more men (50 percent) than women (34 percent) confess to bartering.
Tax filers are not looking for a break from taxes; they want other members of society to receive tax breaks. More than half (51 percent) said waiters and waitresses should not be forced to pay taxes on their tips, while 69 percent said Canadians should not have to report bartered or traded items on annual tax returns.
“In my experience, Canadians like to complain about taxes so it is not surprising that some people are trying to take some measures to reduce their bill,” said Cleo Hamel, senior tax analyst at H&R Block Canada, in a news release. “While paying cash may save you the sales tax, there can be serious implications for not reporting income. Canadians may be looking for ways to save money but we recommend legal options to pay less tax.”
Digital Journal reported on a study that found the average Canadian household that makes more than $74,000 annually pays close to 42 percent of their income in taxes. However, Digital Journal also reported on another poll that found a significant number of Canadians would be willing to pay more in taxes.
The online study was conducted with 1,500 adult Canadians from Jul. 30 to Aug. 1. It contains a margin of error of +/- 2.5 percentage points.
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