Tory Minister David Gauke has condemned people who pay tradesmen in cash as they can avoid paying VAT or Income Tax. He says families who settle bills cash-in-hand are as bad as tax avoiders. But are there any options? Since cheque guarantee cards were abolished by the banks I’ve found more and more traders ask for cash. To quote a few examples: our window cleaner, my local tyre garage, my local car servicing garage. None of them take payment by credit or debit card so there is no option and all insist on cash. The implication is that any trader who takes cash is on a tax fiddle and whilst I don’t doubt there are some I don’t believe for one moment that they are all like that and I personally object to the inference that by paying tradesmen in cash I, and many thousand others, are as bad as tax avoiders.
It is interesting that the Daily Mail features this information about the Minister:-
“David Gauke has branded those who avoid tax as ‘morally’ questionable – but he is open to charges of hypocrisy.
In 2006/7, Mr Gauke used his parliamentary expenses to ensure that taxpayers bore the cost of his stamp duty payments when he moved house.
He claimed £10,248.32 in ‘mortgaged payments’ on his second home that year. That broke down as ‘Inland Revenue Stamp Duty’ of £8,550.
The rest was accumulated solicitors’ fees, land registry and property searches.
He was later cleared of any wrongdoing and has not had to pay any of the money back.”