OCC Webinar: Lost Taxes: Can Addressing the Underground Economy Spur Economic Recovery?

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Wednesday, December 1, 2021
12:00PM – 1:00PM


Join us for an exciting panel conversation on why governments must seize the opportunity now to tackle Canada’s underground economy.

About this event
While Canada’s pre-pandemic federal debt hovered at around 40% of GDP, it has surged due to pandemic spending, exceeding 60% by early 2021. This debt will have long-term consequences for our economic agility and our nation’s next generation.

Finding alternatives to raising taxes is not easy, but it will limit the financial distress faced by households and businesses as we enter a period of economic recovery. Government of all levels must look for bold and creative solutions to our nation’s debt by, for instance, addressing lost tax revenues from illegal markets.

Illegal markets are a substantial source of lost tax revenue for Ontario and its municipalities. Contraband tobacco alone results in $750 million per year in lost revenue for the province. Meanwhile, Ontario’s illegal cannabis market still accounts for over half of household spending on cannabis three years after legalization. One third of smokers buy their cigarettes from the black market, and an EY report conducted during COVID highlights the potential revenues lost to both the provincial and federal governments; legal tobacco sales 24% higher in June 2020 vs June 2019, while smoking incidents rates continues to decline. This represents both an economic loss and a public health concern. Untaxed economic activity is also prevalent in the lottery and gaming sector and in industries where cash transactions are common such as automotive repairs and construction.

• Eddy R. A. Burello, FCPA, FCA, Business Advisor and Partner with MNP in Toronto.

• Patrick Gill, Senior Director, Tax & Financial Policy, Canadian Chamber of Commerce
• Anne P. Kothawala, President & CEO, Convenience Industry Council of Canada
• Victoria Mancinelli, Director Public Relations, Marketing, Strategic Partnerships, LiUNA
• Nathan Mison, Chief Executive Officer at DIPLOMAT Consulting