Harper Government teams up with the Canadian Home Builders’ Association to ensure Canadians Get it in Writing!
March 5, 2015 – Halifax, NS – Canada Revenue Agency

The Honourable Kerry-Lynne D. Findlay, P.C., Q.P., M.P., Minister of National Revenue, announced today that the Government of Canada is providing approximately $745,000 over the next three years to support the Canadian Home Builders’ Association’s (CHBA) Get it in Writing! campaign. The campaign helps Canadians and legitimate businesses protect themselves from unscrupulous contractors in the construction industry who are operating through the underground economy. Minister Findlay made the announcement at the CHBA’s National Conference in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

The Get it in Writing! campaign raises awareness about the safety and financial risks the public face if they participate in the underground economy by purchasing construction or home renovation services “under the table.” It provides consumers and home renovation contractors with tools and information to discourage and reduce participation in the underground economy.

The Government of Canada works closely with industry and other levels of government to combat the underground economy in Canada. Minister Findlay launched a three-year Underground Economy Strategy, Reducing Participation in the Underground Economy last fall, and formed an Advisory Committee of industry representatives.

For more information, visit: www.cra.gc.ca/undergroundeconomy.

Quick facts
In 2011, Statistics Canada estimated the value of underground economy activity in Canada at 2.3% of the GDP.
In 2013-2014, the CRA audited almost 8,000 cases involving participation in the underground economy, and identified an additional $718 million in unreported income.
The CRA’s strategy, Reducing Participation in the Underground Economy, will:
promote better understanding of Canada’s underground economy – where, when and how it occurs;
reduce the social acceptability of participation in the underground economy; and
reduce participation in the underground economy through a range of initiatives over the next three years.
On November 17, 2014, the Minister of National Revenue’s Underground Economy Advisory Committee held its first meeting in Toronto, Ontario. The Committee has representatives from academia and key industry associations representing the financial, restaurant, retail, home building, and construction industries, as well as small businesses and chambers of commerce.
“The Canadian Home Builders’ Association is a valuable partner, and a leader among peers in raising awareness about the pitfalls of participating in the underground economy in the construction industry. We are proud to support the Get it in Writing! campaign. It is a clear example of how government and industry can work together to make a genuine difference in the safety and economic health of our communities.”

– The Honourable Kerry-Lynne D. Findlay, P.C., Q.C., M.P., Minister of National Revenue
“Participating in the underground economy provides an unfair advantage to unscrupulous businesses, and undermines the competitiveness of the millions of legitimate Canadian entrepreneurs. By simple actions like always getting a receipt, Canadians can do their part and join our Government and industry partners in tackling this pervasive and costly problem.””

– The Honourable Kerry-Lynne D. Findlay, P.C., Q.C., M.P., Minister of National Revenue
“Contractors who cut corners when it comes to their taxes are also likely to cut corners in their work. That’s bad news for Canadian consumers. The Canadian Home Builders’ Association urges Canadians to not expose themselves to undue risk, both physical and financial. The Government of Canada’s underground economy strategy is a significant step in fighting the underground economy. We thank the Government of Canada for its renewed support for the Get it in Writing! campaign.””

– Kevin Lee, Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Home Builders’ Association