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The Square payment device allows merchants to take credit card payments on their smartphones (J.P. Moczulski for The Globe and Mail) (J.P. MOCZULSKI For The Globe and Mail)
The Square payment device allows merchants to take credit card payments on their smartphones (J.P. Moczulski for The Globe and Mail) (J.P. MOCZULSKI For The Globe and Mail)

Report on Small Business Newsletter

A tax-crackdown on mobile payments and the new 18-month parental leave Add to ...

A tip from a reader lead us to an exclusive story about how Square payment system was sharing its merchant data with the CRA. The story was widely read as it has impacts for business owners on mobile payment processing systems and gives insight into the federal government's promise to increase scrutiny of tax-dodging companies.

If you have information you'd like to share with the Globe - particularly on an issue that impacts many small businesses - feel free to email me at smallbiz@globeandmail.com. You can also use SecureDrop if you want more security and anonymity than traditional means. — Sarah Efron, Globe and Mail Small Business Editor.

CRA targets tax-avoiding merchants using Square payment system

Federal tax officials have launched a probe aimed at netting tax-evading retailers who use a popular point-of-sale system called Square.

Backed by an order issued by the Federal Court of Canada, the Canada Revenue Agency has told Square Canada Inc. that it must hand over sales transaction data for all Canadian sellers who took in more than $20,000 annually in the calendar years between 2012 and 2015 or during the period between January 1, 2016 and April 30, 2016. Square must also provide the CRA with address and bank-account details for those users, payroll data and other information.

“The majority of individuals and businesses file their tax returns and pay what they owe, in full and on time. However, there are some who try to avoid paying what they owe by operating in the underground economy,” David Walters, a spokesman for the CRA, told The Globe and Mail. “Finding these people and fighting the underground economy is one of the CRA’s top priorities,” he said in a statement. Full story.

This is the weekly Report on Small Business newsletter. If you're reading this on the web or someone forwarded this e-mail newsletter to you, you can sign up for Report on Small Business and all Globe newsletters here. Have any feedback? Let us know what you think.

What employers need to know about 18-month parental leave

The Liberal government said in its recent budget that it will give employees the option to extend parental leave to 18 months​ from one year. The government has yet to pick a start date for the change. Parents won’t get more money from employment insurance benefits​ when the change kicks in​ but can get reduced payments over an 18-month period instead of a year. Full story.

Michael Serbinis: When I realized the economics of my company didn’t make sense, it was really scary

When we started League, we had a vision of a consumer platform that would connect consumers with thousands of health professionals. The search, booking and payment aspects would be seamless and 100 per cent digital. We wanted to Uber-ize healthcare, empowering people to be healthy every day. That didn’t go quite as planned. Full story.

Terminating an employee? Cutting off insurance benefits can come back to haunt you

Employers typically think about issues such as showing due cause or the length of severance packages, and employee benefits aren’t at the top of the list of considerations. But benefits can often come back to haunt you after employees leave, as they can sue their former employers for big bucks if the proper procedures weren’t followed. Full story.

Mobile bike shop expands in high gear

Vancouver-based Velofix is a franchise business, so each van is locally owned. In some busy territories, such as Vancouver, Seattle and Toronto, franchise operators have multiple vans, equipped with Wi-Fi, a coffee machine and the promise of friendly advice if you want some do-it-yourself repair tips. Full story

Canada’s top entrepreneurs to gather at the 2017 Globe and Mail Small Business Summit

The keynote speakers are Michael Serbinis, founder of book technology company Kobo and benefits platform League, and Matthew Corrin, founder of the healthy restaurant chain Freshii. Full story.

More small business stories from around the web

10 unique finds at Costco Business Centre

Costco’s new Business Centre is not your typical Costco. The stores are not open in the evenings or on Sundays and about 80-90 per cent of the product offerings are different from your neighbourhood Costco. Full story

What today’s small businesses can do to beat giant competitors

Retail used to be about shelf space. Own those precious inches, and you controlled the consumer relationships. But the multitude of new buying channels enabled by e-commerce platforms has exponentially widened the shelf. Small brands now have far more control over who sees and has access to their products, as well as where and how. Full story.

Tighter federal drone rules could drive B.C. innovation

Federal Transportation Minister Marc Garneau announced last month restrictions that would ban recreational drones from flying higher than 90 metres; within 75 metres of buildings, vehicles or people; or within nine kilometres of any airport, heliport or aerodrome. Full story.

Eco-friendly, nontoxic and vegan: It’s a condom

The latex in Sustain condoms comes from a Fair Trade rubber plantation in Southern India, she explained. The factory is solar powered. And the condoms are free from nitrosamines, possible carcinogens found in many popular brands. Full story.

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