Majority of Canadians would not Report a Tax Cheat

October 11, 2013

Majority of Canadians would not Report a Tax Cheat

If you are the type of person who isn't always honest when it comes to filling out your tax forms, then you might just get away with it if you live in Canada, according to a recent survey by H&R Block Canada, a Canadian firm that prepares taxes for Canadians and expats/immigrants.

The survey was carried out on the firm's behalf by Leger's online panel. The revealing survey showed the Canadian's rather relaxed attitude to taxation matters, and the majority of the participants stated that while they would not consider cheating themselves, they wouldn't be informing the tax man if they know somebody who had cheated on a tax form, either.

Research showed that just over half of Canadians - 53% of them - would keep quite if they knew someone had cheated, and just 27% of those surveyed said that they would report a tax evader to the Canada Revenue Agency.

However, when it came to handling their own tax affairs, Canadians stated that they would be far more honest. 72% of those surveyed would contact the tax man if they thought that they had made an error on their return. 31% of residents in Quebec said that they would keep quiet if they got an unexpected gift from the tax man in the form of an overpayment, and in Ontario, 24% said that they would not confess to the tax man if they received an overpayment in error.

Further data from the survey also threw up some interesting results. For example, one in five Canadians know someone who has not been entirely honest on their tax returns; men were more likely than women to know someone who had cheated.

Men were also more likely to ignore it if they knew someone was cheating their taxes; people over 55 were also more likely to do the same. 60% of men and the over 55s said they would keep quiet if they knew a tax cheat.

59% of people also believed that if someone would cheat on their tax returns, then they might also be tempted to cheat on expenses, but felt that those cheating their taxes were otherwise honest individuals.

Finally, a word of caution: whether you are a Canadian resident, or are due to immigrate there, it is best not to take such a laid back attitude towards your tax returns. If you did get caught out, the penalties are pretty harsh, and it not recommended that anyone put knowingly false information on their tax returns.

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