OTTAWA - Canadians have no shortage of reasons for cheating on their income taxes, a study done for the Canada Revenue Agency showed.
The newly released study by Page Research Corp., conducted last November said Canadians in 20 focus groups interviewed last fall gave reasons for cheating on taxes such as payback for government waste and the perception it isn't a serious crime, the Ottawa Citizen reported.
Among those who answered "yes" to the question about whether Canadians who thought they could get away with withholding taxes would actually do it, the most common explanations offered were human nature, taxes are already too high and the prevalence of a black market, tax-free, underground economy.
Others who would cheat said it would be because government isn't spending enough on programs important to them, or because of large budget surpluses, the report said.
The tax agency said in 2006-07, criminal investigations led to convictions in 245 cases of tax evasion, leading to $13.4 million in fines, with 26 offenders being sentenced to prison time.
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