Revenu Québec pleased with the results one year after making SRMs mandatory in the restaurant sector
A $160 million increase in self-assessed revenues and more than $1.3 million in fines
Québec City, February 14, 2013. – Revenu Québec is more than pleased with the results achieved in the first year since it made sales recording modules (SRMs) mandatory as part of its efforts to combat tax evasion in the restaurant sector. Launched on November 1, 2011, this initiative has boosted self-assessed revenues by $160 million in just one year and considerably reduced the impact of unfair competition on law-abiding restaurant operators.
As of November 1, 2011, all restaurant operators subject to this measure have been required to use an SRM to produce the bills they are obliged to issue to their customers. To date, nearly 33,000 SRMs have been installed in more than 19,000 restaurant establishments in Québec. Restaurant operators that fail to comply are liable to fines ranging from $2,000 to $100,000.
Revenu Québec's goal is to reduce revenue losses in the restaurant sector, estimated at $420 million for 2008-2009. Thanks to these efforts, the Québec government expects to recover more than $2.3 billion in additional revenues by 2018-2019, representing more than $300 million annually.
Between September 1, 2010, and October 31, 2012, Revenu Québec conducted 15,956 inspections in restaurant establishments. Warnings were issued in 1,433 cases, and 3,765 statements of offence were served. A total of $1,335,400 in fines was levied, and there were 2,200 convictions. Of all the statements of offence served, 52% were issued for failing to provide customers with a bill containing the prescribed information, for providing a bill not produced using an SRM or for failing to keep a register in compliance with the prescribed rules.
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Revenu Québec has also set up a telephone hot line that individuals can use to report restaurants that fail to comply with their tax obligations. As of October 31, 2012, Revenu Québec had already received 2,518 cases, which have since been processed as a matter of priority.
A RECOGNIZED SUCCESS
The success of Revenu Québec's innovative mandatory billing in the restaurant sector project has been recognized on a number of occasions over the past year. Among other distinctions, Revenu Québec received the Gold Award from the Institute of Public Administration of Canada (“Innovative Management” category), the Prix Réalisation awarded by the Institut d'administration publique de Québec (“Public Service” category), as well as the OCTAS de l'excellence and the OCTAS in the “Innovation – More than 250 Employees” category awarded by Réseau ACTION TI.
Revenu Québec would like to thank all of its partners in the restaurant sector that have collaborated in the fight against tax evasion. Each year tax evasion—in addition to generating a heavier tax burden for those who do pay their share—deprives us of more than $3.5 billion that could otherwise be invested in funding public services.