Before you decide to hire a contractor to do construction, renovation, or repair work on your home, ensure they are reputable and insist on getting a written contract and receipts. Be sure to ask a lot of questions, and ask for proof of workers’ compensation or equivalent private liability insurance to cover injury and any damage that could occur in your home. This will protect you from being liable for an injury in your home or on your property, as well as damage to your home or the suppliers’ equipment. Information is key. Know the businesses and individuals that you are dealing with. Recognize those that are participating in the underground economy and don’t do business with them.
You are putting yourself at risk if you pay for a job “under-the-table” without a written contract. You may think you are getting a deal by paying cash and avoiding taxes, but it can leave you with no warranty, no recourse for poor workmanship, and the added risk of liability if an injury takes place on your property. If you are caught evading taxes, you may face fines, penalties, or potential jail time.
Save yourself the trouble — don’t participate in the underground economy. Under-the-table deals undermine the integrity of Canada’s tax system. They deprive the Government of funds for vital programs that benefit all Canadians, including children and seniors. They also provide certain contractors with an unfair, illegal advantage over those who follow Canada’s tax laws.
For more information, go to Get It In Writing!
Voluntary Disclosures Program
If you have ever made a tax mistake or omission, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is offering you a second chance to make things right through its Voluntary Disclosures Program (VDP). If you make a valid disclosure before you become aware that the CRA is taking action against you, you may only have to pay the taxes owing plus interest. More information on the VDP can be found on the CRA website at www.cra.gc.ca/voluntarydisclosures.
If you know of a taxpayer who is not following the tax laws, let the CRA know. They will review the information and when warranted take appropriate compliance action. For more information and a contact number, go to Informant Leads Program.