Working cash in hand

The (in his own words) "morally repugnant" David Gauke is at it again.

This time he is branding those who offer to pay tradesmen cash in hand as being "morally wrong".  For once he's actually talking some sense because paying somebody in cash to evade paying tax is a criminal offence.  The tradesman would be guilty of evading VAT or income.corporation tax or both.  Because the buyer and seller are acting together to avoid tax they would be guilty of conspiracy to evade whichever tax(es) it is they are agreeing not to pay.

According to the BBC report, Boris Johnson admitted that he has paid tradesmen cash in hand many times.  If that's true and it's with the intention to evade paying tax then he is guilty of conspiracy to evade tax.  Although a large part of me suspects that BoJo simply didn't understand the question

It does seem to me that Government Ministers have found a phrase they like, "morally wrong", or "morally repugnant" and intend to run with it... cue the next election being fought on a platform of cracking down on all sorts of "morally wrong" individuals... though surely not a return to the single-mother bashing of the early 90's?


  1. "If that's true AND IT'S WITH THE INTENTION TO EVADE PAYING TAX then he is guilty of conspiracy to evade tax"

    That's the difficult part, of course. Unless a tradesman out-and-out asks to be paid in cash "so I don't have to put it through the books", or words to that effect, you can never know that he intends to evade tax.

    Even if he offers a discount for cash that's not necessarily an indicator - he may be doing so for perfectly legitimate reasons (e.g. the convenience of not waiting for a cheque to clear, or not having funds swallowed up by an overdraft etc.)

    1. In which case it's neither illegal nor immoral.

  2. "...though surely not a return to the single-mother bashing of the early 90's?"

    Definitely not, Dave surely considers them the salt of the earth.

  3. and it's with the intention to evade paying tax This is the relevent bit, though, isn't it?

    There is nothing wrong with paying, or being paid, in cash per se

    I'm a solicitor - I often come across clients who do not have chequebooks. We often suggest that they pay by way of a standing order (we accept cards, but it costs)

    A lot of people are simply much more comfortable with cash.Quite apart from anything else, if you are not good with figures, then the benfit of cash is that youkknow for surewhether you've got it or not...

    I'm very wary of anyone seeking to make out that paying in cash is, of itself, ethuically or morally wrong.

  4. Geordie Moonraker27 July 2012 at 21:30

    I pay in cash and am usually given a receipt.That is my part of the transaction finished. It is no concern of mine whether or not my contractor deals with it in a double entry way or not, I trust him and I resent being categorised in this way

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