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AIBU to think 'middle Britain' VAT/Tax dodgers ARE a big problem

(84 Posts)
rottentomatoes Tue 22-Jan-13 10:33:10

as well as big companies legally avoiding tax and fraudulent benefit claimants. That they are not mutually exclusive and headlines/artcles like this one (link) support middle Britain evading tax on the premise that there are bigger fish to fry.

AIBU to think it's actually hypocritical that many people dodge VAT/TAX etc but will happily wave around phrases like benefit scrounger or get incensed by large corporations legally avoiding tax.

Disclaimer: I don't read the Daily Express but saw this headline grabber whilst in the newsagent!

Backtobedlam Tue 22-Jan-13 10:41:07

The difficulty is though a lot of plumbers/electricians and other cash in hand workers may put a few jobs through and not declare them, but the cost of investigating and prosecuting would far outweigh any costs they would recoup, plus its something that would be hard to prove in court. At this time I don't think it's a viable way of doing things. I also think that getting some tax from them is better than driving them out of business and getting nothing at all.

rottentomatoes Tue 22-Jan-13 10:44:23


Good points. Although I have no doubt if they choose to pay the legally required amount of tax or always charge VAT they wouldn't be driven out of business

flatpackhamster Tue 22-Jan-13 11:59:12

You 'have no doubt' that's the case, do you? Tell me about your small business, and what makes you such an expert on the conditions for the self-employed.

The problem is fiscal incontinence. The government takes twice as much tax now as it did before Evil Labour came to power.

PessaryPam Tue 22-Jan-13 12:38:45

Obviously ''middle Britain' are the main problem. Without them the country would function brilliantly. Oh hang on..........

rottentomatoes Tue 22-Jan-13 13:19:22


I do have a small business but for obvious reason will not divulge the details on here. I am self employed and have been for quite some time.

The thing is if the business doesn't work without getting paid cash in hand to evade tax, it doesn't work. It's not a perk of the self employed to pay less tax is it?

rottentomatoes Tue 22-Jan-13 13:20:53

Pessary Pam

I have no idea what you are replying to.

PessaryPam Tue 22-Jan-13 14:29:34

I am replying to your 'lets bash middle Britain people' post love.

SarahBumBarer Tue 22-Jan-13 14:36:52

Have some sympathy with your point OP particularly re the hypocrisy. However while you might have some experience of running your own business but you can't say that you have "no doubt" that someone would not be driven out of business. 20% of profits make make all the difference eg between being able to buy an old van to clean windows etc or accept you can't get around your customers and therefore sign on.

Disclaimer - I'm PAYE btw - I get taxed on everything and TBH I bloody resent paying a ton of tax only for half a ton of it to go on servicing a bloody great big debt. Fair enough if it were all being ploughed back into education or healthcare or infrastructure as in Australia.

rottentomatoes Tue 22-Jan-13 14:39:03

Where have I bashed middle Britain? I am saying that's it's wrong to evade tax who ever you are and that it shouldn't be ok for middle Britain just as it's not ok for the rest of the country.

No need to patronise with the 'love'

rottentomatoes Tue 22-Jan-13 14:45:45


For some businesses that are not profitable they might go out of business but MANY don't evade tax to stop themselves going out of business do they. And certainly many people who agree to pay cash to avoid VAT are not doing it because they are on the bread line, they do it because they want a cheap deal.

It's the entitlement of these people that annoys me, it's like they are saying it's ok for me to evade tax illegally and in the same breath moan and complain about other sections of society doing it.

It's all wrong.

rottentomatoes Tue 22-Jan-13 14:48:44

Actually you could argue that small businesses that evade tax through cash deals are in fact putting ore honest companies out of business because they will have an unfair advantage to charge less and win more work.

BalloonTwister Tue 22-Jan-13 15:13:08

I try to avoid taking cash, I get charged to bank it, and few small businesses are smaller than mine!

Corygal Tue 22-Jan-13 15:17:39

Practically everyone I know is self employed and I don't know anyone who dodges tax by cash in hand payments.

I'm not sure how common it really is. No one can be, come to that. Could it be perhaps that the govt is trying to distract attention from the tax-dodgers they meet at dinner parties? Those oh-so corporate middle classes?

rottentomatoes Tue 22-Jan-13 15:54:17

Some of the replies on this thread are only serving to prove me right that there is some hypocrisy out there.

Some of the replies include; Tax evasion by Middle England is necessary or small businesses will fold, it doesn't really happen that much (yeah right) or mention it and you are having a go at middle Britain and after all Britain would be on it's knees without middle Britain. How self righteous!

It's exactly these kind of attitudes I find so hypocritical. Benefit scroungers = bad Rich not paying taxes = bad Middle Britain doing exactly the same thing excuse excuse excuse.

rottentomatoes Tue 22-Jan-13 15:55:16


That sucks that you are charged to bank cash.

allgoingtoshitnow Tue 22-Jan-13 15:55:37

In the past I've had plumbers, electricians and gardeners all take cash in hand. Its only when they work for a big company (say British Gas) where they are above board and that's normally because they are earning a salary rather than self employed.

One of the great things about self employment in a trade is the tax 'efficiency'. I thought everyone knew that?

yohohoho Tue 22-Jan-13 15:58:29

As you have a small business you would know all about business bank account charges, surely.

Binkyridesagain Tue 22-Jan-13 16:00:45

Tax tax tax, I'm trying to fill out my self assessment, first time, if they wrote the bloody thing in English I might stand a chance.

I'm having a rant and a stomp, then I'm having a brew and a fag then I might look up how to become an accountant in 10 easy steps!!!

Sorry no answer for you OP.

MrsPear Tue 22-Jan-13 16:05:22

I am self employed too and i have lost count of potential clients that we have lost as we want the money to go through the banking system - we construct basements so we are talking big projects for people with lots of money. So all i am saying is don't assume that it is always the builder ...

IShallWearMidnight Tue 22-Jan-13 16:08:23

paying/being paid in cash doesn't necessarily mean it's off the books though.

Kahlua4me Tue 22-Jan-13 16:11:42

allgoingto lots of trades are above board in my experience, not only if working for a big company!
Have you seen the forms we have to complete for HMRC and the penalties if caught. They scare the living day lights out of me so all our work is above board.
We work really hard and all is declared. We were investigated a few years ago simply because they picked a particular trade in a particular part of the country and that included us, it was quite frightening to have them looking through everything with a magnifying glass. Luckily we are above board and have an excellent accountant so all was good.
Yes there are some rogue traders around and yes some of them no doubt claim benefits too but that doesn't mean we all do!

FrankellyMyDearIDontGiveADamn Tue 22-Jan-13 16:15:56

Surely if you structure your business efficiently you can minimise your tax liability legally? Disclaimer - I'm only studying a basic business studies module so could be way off the truth with that statement!

I know a builder who was in partnership with his brother (a decorator). By splitting the partnership up they are both able to not charge VAT to their customers as the two separate turnovers are below the VAT threshold. As a result they both have more work as some clients were being put off having work done because of the VAT charge

rottentomatoes Tue 22-Jan-13 16:16:55

Mrs Pear,
I totally agree it's definitely not always the builder

rottentomatoes Tue 22-Jan-13 16:18:47


It makes sense to structure the business to minimise tax. I am definitely referring to tax evasion here rather than avoidance.

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