Minister's Underground Economy Advisory Committee meeting - November 17, 2014 - Record of Discussion


1. Introductions

Members of the Minister’s Underground Economy Advisory Committee briefly introduced themselves and the organizations they represent.


2. Purpose and context

The Minister of National Revenue and the Commissioner of Revenue and Chief Executive Officer of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) outlined the purpose of the committee.


3. The CRA’s 2014 Underground Economy Strategy and framework of activities

The CRA gave the committee an overview of its draft strategy for addressing the underground economy (UE), including a synopsis of short- and long-term activities it is conducting to support the strategy.


4. Application of behavioural economics to the UE

The Associate Professor of Marketing, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto, gave committee an overview of behavioural economics and potential applications in addressing UE-related tax non-compliance.


5. Input from members

Members of the committee offered insight into the CRA’s draft strategy for addressing the UE, as well as input on how the UE affects their particular industries and organizations. The committee members thought the CRA should:

   • focus on the factors that motivate people to participate in the UE, in particular people who are otherwise compliant

   • recognize that the UE is different across different sectors

   • communicate the consequences of participating in the UE in non-tax terms (for example, risk to safety or reduced government services)

   • design any new measures that address the UE carefully to minimize burden and target the highest risk


6. Summary and next steps

The Minister recapped the meeting and gave an overview of how the committee would continue to contribute to the CRA’s efforts to address the UE.  The committee is expected to meet in person twice a year, with ongoing dialogue among committee members throughout the year.


7. Adjournment

The committee meeting was adjourned.

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