Canadians unlikely to turn in tax cheats

But most of us are otherwise honest with the Canada Revenue Agency

CALGARY, Oct. 2, 2013 /CNW/ - Cheating on your taxes? Chances are, your neighbour has your back.

A survey found more than half of Canadians (53 per cent) would not rat out someone they knew was cheating on their taxes to the Canada Revenue Agency according to a Leger survey conducted by H&R Block Canada. On the flipside, only 27 per cent said they were somewhat likely or very likely to report tax evasion.

The survey found that, while Canadians might be willing to overlook others' tax dodges, they are likely to be honest with the tax man themselves. If the CRA overpaid them on their tax refunds, 72 per cent claimed they'd notify the agency of the error. Residents of Quebec and Ontario were the most likely to say they would take the money and run, with 31 per cent and 24 per cent respectively saying they would not tell the CRA about an overpayment.

The survey also revealed:

  • One in five Canadians knows a tax cheat. Men (26 per cent) were more likely than women (15 per cent) to know someone who has cheated on taxes.
  • Only 11 per cent of Canadians ranked cheating the CRA as the worst. Extramarital affairs were the worst with 66 per cent saying that cheating on a spouse was the lowest form of treachery.
  • Survey respondents didn't necessarily see cheating on taxes as an indicator a person would cheat in other spheres of life, with the exception of expense reporting. Fifty-nine per cent of those surveyed believed a tax cheat would likely fudge an expense report.
  • Men and those aged 55 or older were particularly inclined to turn a blind eye to tax cheating, with 60 per cent reporting they would not turn in someone they knew was cheating on their taxes in both demographics.

Even if your neighbours might not turn you in, cheating on your taxes is not a good idea. There are serious consequences for filing a tax return you know is wrong. The best way to pay less tax is to make sure you're using all of your legal options for reducing your tax burden.

The survey was completed online from September 3 to September 5 using Leger's online panel, LegerWeb, with a sample of 1,501 Canadians 18 years of age or older.

About H&R Block Canada
H&R Block Canada has been preparing taxes for more than 49 years and is Canada's leading tax preparation firm. Headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, the company serves Canadian taxpayers in more than 1,100 offices across the country. H&R Block Canada Inc. is a subsidiary of H&R Block, Inc., a diversified company with subsidiaries providing a wide range of financial products and services. Additional information about H&R Block Canada is available at 1-800-HRBLOCK or hrblock.ca. Visit www.hrbtaxtalk.ca for more tax tips.

A probability sample of the same size would yield a margin of error of +/- 2.5%, 19 times out of 20.

SOURCE: H

For further information:

Tina Quelch
Calador Communications
(416) 925-6034 x 22
tina@calador.ca


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