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Posts Tagged ‘Revenu Quebec’

Recently, we’ve begun to hear a lot more about tax evasion in the restaurant industry.  More specifically, we’re talking about technologically-assisted tax fraud, using zappers or phantom-ware.  It made the news, again this past week, when it was disclosed that the Canada Revenue Agency had found more than $40M of unreported tax in the restaurant industry attributed to the use of zappers.  Today’s post looks at the issue of tax fraud in the restaurant industry and tries to determine how “rampant” it might be.

While tax fraud can occur in many different ways, when we talk about the restaurant industry, it usually takes the form of cash sales “skimmed” off and not reported for tax purposes.

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According to the Revenu Quebec website, there were approximately 17,600 restaurants selling $9.5 billion of food and alcoholic beverages in 2007.  As in most other provinces, the restaurant industry is a significant and vital sector of the economy.  While the industry may not be particularly profitable, it does play a significant role in the collection of retail sales taxes on behalf of the federal and provincial governments.  Rather than be appreciative of the taxes that are collected and remitted by the restaurant industry, Revenu Quebec (along with all of the other tax authorities in Canada, the US, and the OECD countries) believe that tax evasion in the restaurant industry is widespread.  Studies in the US indicate that as many as half of all restaurants fail to report all sales revenue.

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