Minister's Underground Economy Advisory Committee meeting - April 27, 2015 - Record of Discussion

1. Introductory comments

The Minister of National Revenue and the Commissioner of Revenue and Chief Executive Officer of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) provided introductory comments.


2. Roundtable

Committee members offered insightful feedback on what they have heard from their members after the November 2014 meeting.


3. Update - CRA Underground Economy (UE) activities

The CRA discussed various compliance actions it has taken as well as its graduated approach to compliance. Committee members were pleased with the progress of CRA initiatives and were positive about increased compliance measures, especially measures that do not burden compliant businesses.


4. Social marketing campaign/communications strategy

The CRA discussed the use of social marketing to combat the UE and how committee members can help communicate core messages about the UE. Participants agreed on the need for third party voices in getting the right message across–the message needs to come from associations, not just the CRA. The committee talked about messaging, including the need to focus on financial literacy and messaging relating to:

   • the fact that taxes have gone down

   • getting receipts for a transaction

   • education for young Canadians, new Canadians, and tip earners

   • consumers asking to pay cash being enablers

   • the difference between audits and other measures


5. Nudge project ideas under development

The CRA discussed ideas it is considering to encourage individuals to be more compliant.


6. Discussion of opportunities and next steps

The Minister of National Revenue recapped the meeting. The committee is expected to meet in person next September. Some of the next steps and opportunities are:

   • The CRA is open to receiving items for future agendas to meet committee member needs

   • The CRA would like to receive the names of contacts in the organizations represented by committee members, as well as any marketing research they have done, to work on messaging

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