Officers have also issued another half million dollars in fines and interest to the offending businesses, with no criminal charges laid. According to an internal CRA report on the pilot project, obtained through the Access to Information Act, many of the tax cheats work in isolated areas, and get work through word-of-mouth.

“Self-employed contractors that support the larger businesses … have extensive opportunities to work for cash,” says the report. “Much of the work occurs in remote and sparsely populated areas that traditionally have limited visible interactions with the [CRA].”

The operation targeted three types of resource industry services, including pilot car drivers, mobile first aid providers, and couriers who often deliver to remote work sites, and looked at over 4,000 accounts.

As a result of the project, the CRA says it’s clear it needs to increase its visibility in areas undergoing a resource boom.