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to tell my friend paying cash in hand for a builder is immoral

(157 Posts)
twistedsista Mon 16-Jun-14 09:50:39

My friend is having some building work done, was kind of showing off that she gets it for 120 a day rather than 150 as its cash in hand.

I couldn't help but say I thought it was a bit immoral. As he won't be paying any tax on it that's over 40k a year sallary equilivent and being in London with kids it's possible working tax credits and housing benefit could also be tens of thousands a year.

Should I have just shut up? She took it really personally

Well obviously he won't be earning cash in hand for every job - maybe this is a small job.

None of your business really, I would keep my nose out and my mouth shut if I were you - but then your friend is a bit silly going round telling people.

MelanieCheeks Mon 16-Jun-14 09:54:17

How do you know he wont be paying tax?

petitemarionette Mon 16-Jun-14 09:54:57

Normally it's something I'd bite my tongue over. However, if someone is going to show off about it...

CSIJanner Mon 16-Jun-14 09:57:12

If its a small job, your friend could be saving money that might be putting food on her tale and maybe he's avoiding bank charges for cheques in a business account. I've paid a builder CIH. I got a VAT receipt back. Just because they take cash, doesn't mean that they don't declare it.

UnderEstherMate Mon 16-Jun-14 09:57:39

You can pay tax with cash. Whether he does or not is a different matter, but nothing to do with your friend. YABU.

PeacesOfAte Mon 16-Jun-14 09:59:06

It's up to the builder to do his tax return properly and morally, not up to your friend to demand proof of this. Just because someone is paid cash doesn't they don't declare it.

PeacesOfAte Mon 16-Jun-14 09:59:23

*doesn't mean

wannaBe Mon 16-Jun-14 10:00:16

you don't know that he won't be paying tax. You don't know that he is claiming tax credits. and tbh there's a big difference between £120/150, if he doesn't pay tax/is earning tax credits that's not your friend's responsibility is it? he's offered her a discount for cash and she's taken that, why shouldn't she? If he'd said "look love, if you pay me cash then I don't have to pay tax, so we'll do this as a bit of a discount job and we all win, so shall we do it that way?" then you would have a point. But atm she's getting a discount and presumably it's not for her to question whether tax/benefits are at play.

You sound incredibly self righteous and judgemental over something which is really none of your concern.

georgedawes Mon 16-Jun-14 10:00:19

Maybe he gets charged for cheques?

WorraLiberty Mon 16-Jun-14 10:00:44

This has nothing to do with your friend

What the builder does regarding tax, is entirely up to them.

Nancy66 Mon 16-Jun-14 10:01:59

Of course he isn't paying tax. There's only one reason builders ask for cash in hand

CSIJanner Mon 16-Jun-14 10:02:23

Actually Peaces is right - you're assigning moral responsibility of tax to your friend whereas the moral duty is with the builder.

Have we really moved from nanny state to nannying each other now?

Xcountry Mon 16-Jun-14 10:03:21

you could tell her, she probably wouldn't listen - I know I wouldn't.

londonrach Mon 16-Jun-14 10:03:59

I get paid either cash or cheque for my private work and tell the tax man every penny i earn. Credit or debit card payment is very expensive for small soul traders like me. Why it's immoral it's up to builder to keep his records for 7 years. If any problem the buck stops with him. Yabvvvvvu and judgmental sorry

So OP if you had someone round to quote for a job and they said you could save £30 if you paid cash would you decline and pay the extra money? Come on be honest, do tell!

AnyFucker Mon 16-Jun-14 10:04:45

I think you should mind your own business

BravePotato Mon 16-Jun-14 10:05:35

I get paid cash, that does not make me immoral or illegal.

SundayLieIn Mon 16-Jun-14 10:06:32

I don't know, the issue is that the builder might be entirely honest even though he is doing a discount for cash.

My DH offers a reduction for cash payments for customers.

The reason for this is it makes cash flow much easier- you tend to get cash in hand the moment you finish the job, whereas even if they pay by balance transfer when you send them the invoice it often takes the customer a couple of weeks to get around to paying it, even though they are happy with the job. Often people with a little bit of padding in the bank account don't realise what a difference those few days of payment might make to someone without the padding! IME we have virtually never had a customer who pays an invoice without at least one follow up reminder first, and this takes time and money...

My DH is scrupulously honest about exactly what he earns, is registered as self employed and pays all his NI, tax etc and would never fiddle in any way...yet I suppose someone hearing about a cash in hand discount might suspect him.

Also 120 a day does not work out at 40k a year.....when you add in materials they have to buy, petrol, van costs, equipment hire etc that would work out at a pretty low wage. You also have to factor in all the down time that is spent quoting for jobs, on admin work, sourcing and buying materials etc- one example of this is my DH regularly has to replace floorboards as part of his job. These are charged at cost, but sourcing them might mean a trip (unpaid) to 3 or 4 reclamation yards to find boards of the right widths, material etc....that 120 a day soon comes down.

UsedtobeFeckless Mon 16-Jun-14 10:09:39

If he's fiddling his tax that's his problem, not your mate's and definitely not yours! I'm not surprised she was a bit miffed with you, to be honest.

InspirationFailed Mon 16-Jun-14 10:12:17

I don't have a cheque book (do banks even give them out anymore?) I always pay cash for building world, plumbers etc. I've got someone here doing the garden at the moment and will pay him cash - it never occurred to me not too.

Deverethemuzzler Mon 16-Jun-14 10:12:29

Of course there is more than reason for taking payment in cash Nancy, don't be so dim.

What if he needs to buy materials? Should he wait for a cheque to clear or hope he has enough to cover without going into his overdraft thus incurring costs?

People like to think they are getting a deal so places offer them a 'discount' for cash.

The buyer feels clever for managing to bargain the seller down, the seller is making the money they would anyway.

londonrach Mon 16-Jun-14 10:14:40

Yes inspiration banks give them out. You have to ask now. I pay all my bills with cheques. My margins are so tight. Most years the tax man gives me money back from my paye work. However i enjoy your private work as it's really helping people.

Nancy66 Mon 16-Jun-14 10:16:06

Sundayliein - surely those things you mention are legit business expenses and therefore wouldn't come out of his earnings: petrol, van maintenance, tool purchase etc...

Finney2 Mon 16-Jun-14 10:19:40

My husband is a tradesman. He offers a discount for cash because he ges it instantly rather than having to wait for, and usually chase, a cheque. He declares and pays tax on all cash payments.

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