Revenue Quebec is following through on its promise to crack down on tax evasion in the public sector and other areas where black market work may be rampant.
Bills for retroactive taxes and interest owed have been going out to janitors and superintendants of apartment buildings.
"François", who did not wish to be identified by his real name, told CJAD 800 News that his brother who works as a superintendant for a large Montreal apartment building got dinged with a bill for retroactive taxes and interest totalling $15,800, the monies owed dating back to 2010. Francois said he's heard from others in the same predicament, affecting those who take on such janitorial jobs in exchange for a rent-free apartment plus extra cash for maintenance jobs such as plumbing, painting or snow removal.
"Now this arrives on them like a bullet, boom! So many thousands of people in Quebec will have the surprise of their life and I don't think this is very fair. They should know before and this should not have been retroactive," François said.
François partially blames landlords and property owners.
"He never told them they have to declare that to (Revenue Quebec)," he said.
François admits most don't say anything because it'd be hard to get someone to do the work if they knew they were going to be taxed for 50 dollars here and 100 dollars there.
"We're talking thousands of people now. If they're doing that type of job, it's because they don't have the money to pay everything so they take that job," François said.
Revenue Quebec said in an email to CJAD 800 News that such services are taxable and they're just making sure everyone has to declare and pay their taxes. Spokesperson Geneviève Laurier said it doesn't apply to "small suppliers" when the total amount of taxable services does not go over $30,000 a year.