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71 per cent of contractors doing ZERO cash work: Canadian Contractor survey

71 per cent of contractors who responded to our survey are going to Revenue Canada Heaven. They say they do ZERO cash work, whatsoever. And of the 29 per cent of respondents who DO take cash, the vast majority (25% of total respondents) say they limit their cash deals to less than 10 per cent of their annual volume.


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March 5, 2015 by Steve Payne

71% of the 381 contractors who responded to our recent Canadian Contractor Salary Survey┬ásay they are 100% cash-work free. 25% of respondents said they did “up to 10%” of their work on a cash basis. 3% admitted to doing “10% to 25%” of their jobs for cash. 1% of contractors did “more than 25%” of their projects on a cash basis.

The 71% “zero cash” contractor number is unchanged from our last survey, a year ago.

The Canadian Contractor Salary Survey, in its entirety, will be published in the next print issue of the magazine.


Steve Payne

Steve Payne

Steve Payne is the editor of Canadian Contractor magazine
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5 Comments » for 71 per cent of contractors doing ZERO cash work: Canadian Contractor survey
  1. norm says:

    hello
    I just finished doing my 2013 taxes and I can summarize as follows:
    106 k
    36 purchases
    33 subcontractors
    7-10 13 year old vehicle exp/gas/oil
    After expenses for home use, legal, bad debts, advertising, utilities, internet yada yada I lost money.
    Income was in the minus bracket for the last 5 years.
    Now you know why we need to do some cash business. We’d all be bankrupt because we can’t earn enough to even qualify for poverty level. If we didn’t have some money coming in for being foster parents we’d have to close our doors. The cost of doing business makes it impossible even to replace our aging vehicles.

  2. Hi Steve,
    A very interesting survey and the 71% results might tell us only the honest guys responded. I’m sure if 1,000 contractors were FORCED to participate in a survey, the result would tell a different tale.

    On one of your earlier articles Steve, it said HR Block (the tax filing people) did a survey and found over 50% of homeowners wanted to pay cash for items and I’m assuming their attitude extends to home renovation work.

    This tells me a higher number contractors are taking cash than the 71% of the volunteers here and many contractors are not disclosing it. This might be called survival.

    Its time government gave reputable contractors help and they finally go after the illegals and the underground economy, like Firefighter working on the side, many are not running it as a business, or laid off GM workers with ladders on their car roofs.

    Contractors like Norm above, are faced with WSIB, Liability insurance, Commercial vehicle insurance, Safety requirements and more.

    I believe the figures Norm shows above are the true picture of what legitimate contractors face. Many wonder if it worth slogging away against the huge tide!!! or do they just join it!!!

    • Steve Payne says:

      Good points, Alec. Yes, I remember the H&R Block survey, where half of all homeowners wanted cash deals. We probably skew towards educated (in business) contractors, veterans, pros… and the fact that 3 out of 10 of them want cash, sure we can see the 50/50 ratio as being very likely.

  3. Questo says:

    Thanks Alec, Norman and Steve to pinpoint the reality of doing business in this province. Now you know in previous comments, I said I closed my business after seven years in operation.

    There were and apparently isn’t any protection for the legal contractors in some situations, to collect any own money, if costumers became nasty, crooks, and cheaters.

    The CRA, wants their share even in contracts which I lost money, unpaid, etc. I fought them for about five years and won the case, no one should pay GST was then now is HST, when he/she couldn’t not collect.

    Its more clear then ever, the actual government have no interest in fix things the way it should, but instead shank the small business operations to lead them into the silver plate of the unions, using all source of protections mantras.

    The Premier of Ontario is more interested in sex ed, and sexual assault protections, really, there are laws already in place to deal with these issues. Apparent sign of political failure, looks more and more about her, and their minions and thirty for power.

    Economic matters in this Province of Ontario will get worse, maybe to a point never seen before, the cost of small business is unbearable, unaffordable, with all these side parasitic agencies eating on the host.

    Corruption is like a disease once in it would be very hard to be eliminated.

  4. Questo says:

    http://www.simcoereformer.ca/2015/03/10/wynne-wont-rule-out-partial-sale-of-hydro-one

    Which year, day and month did I say political failure? Opps just tow days ago. Isn’t this link interesting?

    Hydro one up for grabs, next maybe LCBO, and more scandals up for sale. They can’t sell WSIB because its a debt mountain, no body will by it, so all their creations.

    Its a matter of time all these side tax agencies, created by these corrupted Liberals are out of business. Can’t wait to see all that happen, the spiral financial collapse of the Liberals.

    Plato 2500 years ago: Responsible people don’t need laws to be responsible and inresponsible people will always find ways to violate laws.