Canada Revenue Agency

Canada Revenue Agency

June 26, 2015 15:31 ET

Harper Government Teams Up With Home Builders to Combat the Underground Economy

Minister Findlay highlights EAP 2015 proposal to invest $118 million to fight the underground economy and the Government's partnership with the Canadian Home Builders' Association on its Get it in Writing! campaign.

ST. JOHN'S, NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR--(Marketwired - June 26, 2015) - Canada Revenue Agency

The Honourable Kerry-Lynne D. Findlay, P.C., Q.C., M.P., Minister of National Revenue, delivered remarks at the Canadian Home Builders' Association's (CHBA) 26th Executive Officers' Council Professional Development Forum in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador. She highlighted the government's plan, through Economic Action Plan 2015, to invest $118 million over five years to fight Canada's underground economy, as well as the Government's commitment to protect homeowners and legitimate businesses in the construction and home renovation sector.

Under the Economic Action Plan 2015 proposal, the Canada Revenue Agency will expand its Underground Economy Specialist Teams. These teams will target underground economy activity in high risk sectors of the Canadian economy.

To help raise public awareness about the safety and financial risks associated with participating in the underground economy, Minister Findlay also highlighted that the Government of Canada is providing approximately $745,000 over the next three years to support the Canadian Home Builders' Association's Get it in Writing! campaign. The Get it in Writing! initiative provides consumers with tools and information to discourage and reduce participation in the underground economy. In particular, it warns consumers of the risks of doing business "under the table" and urges them to ask for receipts when hiring a contractor.

In addition, Minister Findlay highlighted some of the family tax cuts and benefits available to Canadian families to help make home ownership more affordable, including:

• the Home Accessibility Tax Credit, proposed through Economic Action 2015, which would allow seniors, disabled persons, or their spouses or caregivers, to claim up to $10,000 in eligible expenses to help cover some of the costs of keeping their homes safe, secure, and accessible.

• the First-Time Home Buyers' Tax Credit, a non-refundable tax credit that can provide up to $750 in federal tax relief to help Canadians cover some of the costs associated with the purchase of their first home; and

• the Home Buyers' Plan, which allows eligible home buyers to withdraw funds from their registered retirement savings plans to help cover the costs of buying or building a qualifying home.

Quick Facts

• Last fall, Minister Findlay launched a three-year strategy, Reducing Participation in the Underground Economy, to combat the underground economy in high-risk sectors of the Canadian economy.

• The Government of Canada works closely with industry and other levels of government to combat the underground economy in Canada. On November 17, 2014, the Minister of National Revenue's Underground Economy Advisory Committee held its first meeting in Toronto, Ontario. The Advisory Committee has representatives from academia and industry associations representing the financial, restaurant, retail, home building, and construction industries, as well as small businesses and chambers of commerce. The Advisory Committee's second meeting was held on April 27, 2015, and a third meeting is planned for later this summer.

• Statistics Canada's recent release of new underground economy estimates for Canada from 1992 to 2012 shows the value of economic activity in the underground economy at 2.3% of the GDP.

• The First-Time Home Buyers' Tax Credit is a $5,000 non-refundable tax credit that helps Canadians cover the costs associated with the purchase of a home, such as legal fees, disbursements, and land transfer taxes.

• Under the Home Buyers' Plan, eligible Canadians can withdraw up to $25,000 ($50,000 for a couple) from their registered retirement savings plans in a calendar year, to help cover the cost of buying or building a home for themselves or for a related person with a disability.

Quotes

"Every Canadian bears the cost of the underground economy. It allows dishonest businesses to thrive over their honest competitors, and limits the ability of governments to invest in our communities. A simple act like asking for a receipt can protect consumers from safety risks and financial disaster, support investments in your community, and help legitimate local businesses to create jobs and growth."

The Honourable Kerry-Lynne D. Findlay, P.C., Q.C., M.P., Minister of National Revenue

"Our Government understands the importance of home ownership to Canadian families and to ensuring job creation and a stable economy. We have introduced the Home Accessibility Tax Credit, increased the amount of the Home Buyers' Plan, and introduced the First-Time Home Buyers' Tax Credit to help make home ownership more affordable and accessible for all Canadian families."

The Honourable Kerry-Lynne D. Findlay, P.C., Q.C., M.P., Minister of National Revenue

"We are very pleased that the minister could join us here in Newfoundland and Labrador with our executive officers from all across Canada. The underground economy issue is very important to us from coast to coast and we are happy to be collaborating with the federal government to address it together. "

Kevin Lee, Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Home Builders' Association

"We are proud to partner with the Government of Canada to promote fair and honest business practices in the construction and home renovation sector. We are confident that we can work together to fight the underground economy and ensure a level playing field for hard-working Canadian entrepreneurs."

Victoria Belbin, Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Home Builders' Association of Newfoundland and Labrador

Related Products

Reducing Participation in the Underground Economy: http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/gncy/lrt/strtgy-eng.html

Associated Links

www.cra.gc.ca/undergroundeconomy

http://www.chba.ca/

http://www.hiringacontractor.com/

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  • Rebecca Rogers
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    Office of the Minister of National Revenue
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