How do Canadians feel about their household income?

New survey highlights the steps Canadians have taken to augment their income

How do Canadians feel about their household income?

As much as 85% of Canadians believe that their income is not keeping up with the pace of inflation, according to a new poll by H&R Block Canada.

This has pushed 28% of Canadians, totalling approximately 8.746 million adults, to take on side hustles to boost their incomes. Around 20% said that they entered the gig economy over the last 12 months.

Three out of five (63%) said that consistently elevated inflation levels in Canada were the main reason for their gig work, while 74% said that their side hustle supplements their primary employment. Another 26% said that gig work is their primary employment.

Half (51%) of Canada’s gig workers said that their employers aren’t aware of their side hustle, while a slightly smaller share (49%) have reported their status to their employers. Another 15% said that they are thinking about taking on gig work in the future.

Considering the sustained financial pressures of the current environment, 49% of Canada’s gig workers said that they are willing to take on the risk of not declaring “all” of their side hustle income, while 44% said that they are willing to risk not declaring “any” of this income.

Yannick Lemay, tax specialist at H&R Block Canada, said that such non-declaration constitutes tax evasion, a criminal offence per Canadian law.

“The survey indicates that many Canadians feel tempted to avoid declaring all their income from a side gig, and many lack an understanding of the tax implications,” Lemay said. “While it’s easy to think that smaller amounts may go unnoticed, by not declaring all income to the Canada Revenue Agency, Canadians face the risk of not just having to pony up for the full amount of taxes owing if they're audited – but they’ll also be charged interest and could face substantial penalties if it’s discovered.”

Lemay encouraged gig workers to instead examine the wide variety of potential deductions and solutions uniquely available to the side hustle sector.