Revenue Quebec is launching a multi-million-dollar ad campaign aimed at making Quebecers aware of the consequences of tax fraud.

With the tax deadline 14 days away, millions of Quebecers are sending in their returns, and the tax agency is hoping to cut down on tax evasion, an illegal practice which costs the government $3.5 billion per year.

The goal of the French and English television spots is to help people better understand that our tax dollars pay for our healthcare and education systems, our infrastructure, and more.

Revenue Quebec has been targeting three groups in particular: the construction, restaurant and tobacco industries, with some promising results.

Over the past two years, the government has collected $200 million more in tobacco sales, due in part to campaigns against contraband cigarettes.

The new restaurant receipt system is expected to bring in an extra $160 million this year alone.

The new ads send a message that public services suffer as a consequence of tax fraud.

The government is also asking Quebec residents to stop paying for goods and services under the table with cash, and always leave a paper trail.

"If you pay by cheque, if you pay by credit card, if you ask for a receipt, it is much more difficult to avoid taxes for businesses or anybody," explained Jean St-Gelais of Revenue Quebec. "When you can trace what happened, it is easier for us to do our work.