Slightly more than half of all Canadians (55%) would do under-the-table deals with home renovation contractors, according to a survey conducted for H&R Block.
“When presented with two quotes from a contractor – a cheque payment or a lower cash payment with no tax – 55 per cent of Canadians said they would opt for the cash option because there was no sales tax,” H&R Block reports. The online survey of 1,500 adults was done by Leger Marketing, a polling firm, from July 30 to Aug. 1.
And that 55% statistic is probably going to increase, if some of the other numbers reported by H&R continue to hold up in the years ahead. For example, only 17 per cent of people aged 18 to 34 said it was wrong to pay cash to avoid paying sales tax. Across all age groups, only 30 per cent of Canadians thinking paying cash to avoid sales tax is wrong.
Statistics Canada reported last year that the underground economy in Canada reached $36 billion in 2008.