Canada Revenue Agency

Canada Revenue Agency

May 18, 2010 09:00 ET

Minister of National Revenue Warns Nova Scotians of the Risks of 'Paying Under the Table'

FREDERICTON, NEW BRUNSWICK--(Marketwire - May 18, 2010) - The Honourable Keith Ashfield, Minister of National Revenue, Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, and Minister of the Atlantic Gateway announced the launch of an Atlantic-wide campaign that urges homeowners to get written contracts and receipts from contractors when renovating or repairing their homes.

"The fact is, if Nova Scotians pay under the table for home repairs and renovations, they are participating in the underground economy. It's risky and it's wrong," said Minister Ashfield. "Homeowners need to be aware that paying under the table is no deal – there is no warranty, no recourse for poor workmanship and there is potential for financial risks if an injury takes place on their property. Getting it in writing is the best way to know you are protecting yourself."

The campaign which will begin in late spring 2010, builds upon previous "Get it in Writing!" campaigns conducted by the Canadian Home Builders' Association (CHBA), and will feature television, Internet, radio and print advertisements. The campaign will be complemented by the distribution of Homeowner Toolkits, with information and tips for consumers repairing or renovating their homes. The CRA will also be delivering the message at home shows and other community events this summer.

In addition to allowing use of the "Get it in Writing!" trademark for the campaign, the CHBA has worked closely with the Canada Revenue Agency to raise awareness of the risks involved with paying under the table for home renovations and repairs. "One mandate of the Nova Scotia Home Builders' Association (NSHBA) is to educate consumers on the importance of working with a professional - what this means for them; what they should expect from their contractor, including a written contract, warranty protection and after sales service; and what the challenges are associated with choosing not to work with a professional contractor," says NSHBA Chief Executive Officer Paul Pettipas. "This partnership with the CRA has been beneficial to our organization and we believe this campaign will help homeowners in this province make informed decisions."

The Canada Revenue Agency is committed to combating the underground economy through a mix of outreach, education, communication and compliance actions that include identification, audit and enforcement programs. Together, with our provincial and territorial partners we are working with Canadians to fight the underground economy and promote fair and legitimate business practices that strengthen our economy.

For more information on the underground economy and tips on how to "Get it in Writing", go to

Members of the media can view copies of the Homeowner's Toolkit at

Contact Information

  • Canada Revenue Agency
    Atlantic Region
    Kim Blanchette
    Director of Communications
    Office of the Minister of National Revenue
    Erin Filliter
    Director of Communications