Beatin' up the little guy...a Canadian tradition
I did two interviews yesterday on radio stations from out west wanting some comment on the story of the 145 restaurant servers from St. Catharine’s who were audited by the CRA and found to be holding back on the amount of Tips they received. Much was made about the fact that these future bank CEOs were not reporting about 12,000 dollars each in tips and denying the gov’t about 1.7 mill in tax.
I read editorials from across Canada praising the Tax man for taking down this motley crew. No one is above the law they said. We must all pay what we owe for society to continue.
Honestly, with all the brouhaha over the underground economy…THIS is who the CRA targets as the big issue? Students who are simply trying to find what few jobs there are for them out there. Students who are trying in many cases to pay off student loans because tuition fees have continued to go up. Wait staff that already make less than the minimum wage that most economists claim isn’t enough to keep up with rising prices?
Yes…a few of these people were warned that this might be coming and were still dumb enough to claim that they made no tips at all in the past year. That set the red flags flying.
Maybe I’m a bad Canadian but I think we’re missing the point completely here. The CRA claims that too much money changes hands in Canada without the gov’t getting its grubby little hands on it. The underground economy is costing billions. Shouldn’t we be examining why rather than punish the members of society who can least afford it. At least these people are working and not collecting gov’t hand outs. At least the waiters and waitresses aren’t avoiding millions in tax by stashing cash in off shore accounts or CRA loop holes. Isn’t it funny that no one is auditing CEOs and millionaire Canadians who paid almost no tax at all last year? Actually it’s not funny it’s sad.