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Last year’s Days of Action events were severely curtailed because of the dangers of COVID-19 and safety restrictions. But tax fraud didn’t stop threatening our industry.
In 2020 an authoritative study found that as many as 2.41 million construction workers are illegally paid off the books or misclassified as independent contractors. Using mid-range estimates, the federal and state tax losses are $8.4 billion a year.
The outrages don’t end there. Employers steal nearly a billion dollars in wages from workers—and dump their obligations to pay $3.5 billion in taxes onto workers’ shoulders.
Tax Fraud is a scourge in Canada as well. In Ontario alone, $3.1 billion is lost every year.
Those numbers are more than lost taxes. They represent jobs, security and well-being, gone.
Despite COVID-19, UBC regional councils have continued working tirelessly to sharpen enforcement tools against tax fraud. In 2020 landmark legislation became law in New Jersey and Virginia, including holding upper-tier contractors responsible for their wage-thieving subcontractors and labor brokers.
An anti-fraud task force was created in Missouri, and we’ve seen more state attorneys general and local prosecutors taking on crooked contractors.
These successes would have been impossible without the support of UBC members, responsible contractors and community allies. Crooked contractors would have continued to dodge accountability if we had let COVID-19 close us down.
COVID-19 has not stopped tax fraud and it will not stop UBC councils and members from speaking out and taking action responsibly throughout the U.S. and Canada, April 14 -17 during our 2021 Tax Fraud Days of Action.
Many are counting on us. Many will hear from us.