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Tax season 2023: Some gig workers not declaring all income

As more Canadians start creative side gigs to make ends meet, a new survey suggests some may not fully understand the tax implications of side hustles.

A survey by H&R Block Canada found that 44 per cent of Canadian concert hall workers are willing to risk the consequences of not claiming all of their income this tax season as the cost of living continues to rise.

“While it’s easy to think that smaller amounts can go unnoticed, by not reporting all income to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), Canadians face the risk of not only having to pay the full amount of taxes if they’re audited. – but they will also be charged interest and can face significant penalties if found,” says Yannick Lemay, head of training programs and tax specialist at H&R Block Canada. in a press release.

For 74 percent of Canadian concert hall workers, these types of jobs supplement their primary source of income, such as full-time.

And while the gig industry may be growing, one in five (23 percent) of gig workers said they had no idea how this type of income should be reported at tax time.

Despite the fact that not claiming the entire income at the time of taxation is considered tax evasion and it’s a criminal offense, and nearly half said in the survey that they’re willing to take the risk of not claiming their side income.

A worrying statistic to consider the consequences Tax evasion can mean paying the full amount owed plus interest and civil penalties assessed by the CRA, being fined up to 200 percent of the evasion tax, or even facing up to jail time. five years.

“The good news is that there are literally hundreds of possible deductions and expenses that can be claimed; many of which put money in your pocket,” LeMay said.

“The conference workforce is incredibly diverse, so navigating tax incentives can be tricky. The key is to fully understand your specific tax situation so you don’t inadvertently leave money on the table when you file your taxes.”

The survey also found that 85 per cent of Canadians are worried their income can’t keep up with rising inflation, and 63 per cent of concert venue workers cite inflation as a major reason for booking concerts.

In fact, the giant economy has seen an increase in workers over the past year. In 2023, 28 percent said they started working a gig, compared to 13 percent in 2022.

Gig jobs in Canada may continue to grow, as another 15 percent of survey respondents said they are considering moving to the gig economy in the future due to rising inflation affecting basic living expenses such as: grocery items and monthly rent.

By: Gig Economy Data Hub, gig work is classified as gainful activity outside of a standard, long-term employer-employee relationship. Examples of these jobs include construction work, driving for Uber, freelancing, or dog walking.

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