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Canadian Taxation. Volume 2, Issue 2 (1980), p. 98-108.


In this article, Professor Hasson finds that in the area of social security abuse the most serious problems arise not because people are abusing social security programs but because people who qualify for benefits are not receiving them. He also notes that the government commits enormous resources to policing social security schemes and advertising the seriousness of such abuse, and that civil servants are often instructed to, in effect, mistreat claimants. In contrast, the government loses billions of dollars annually through tax evasion while failing to take a number of obvious steps to reduce its incidence. Furthermore, many people appear to view tax evasion with equanimity. The author explores the possible reasons for this perception. He concludes that tax evasion is a much more serious crime than social security abuse, and that at the very least tax evaders and social security abusers ought to be treated equally.

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