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Another tax avoidance/evasion question

(7 Posts)
oneofsuesylvesterscheerios Thu 01-Sep-11 20:41:02

Didn't want to hijack babyhammock's thread but I also have a few questions...

What if someone was working occasionally cash-in-hand (nightclub work), also getting hand-ours from family, which they banked, and then also signed on for a while, on and off?

and what if this was all over 10 years ago and everything else has been above board since but said person has been abroad all this time?

If they came back now and tried to register for NI, would the HMRC be 'interested' in this person? There is no way of proving the cash deposited was from handouts (family member is now dead)

Please be kind: said person is literally suicidal with worry sad.
Failing any solid advice, are there any online services for asking all this in confidence (which could be paid for) or is it better to just appoint a solicitor that specialises in tax?

ThatsNotMyBabyBelly Thu 01-Sep-11 21:04:08

HMRC will only go back more than 6 years for fraud. This wouldn't count as fraud.

I don't think that person should worry, however they should make sure that everything is above board from now on

oneofsuesylvesterscheerios Thu 01-Sep-11 21:11:54

Thank you.
Everything has been above board for ages now: they have realised their youthful stupidity!

However, I know it will take a lot to convince this person that they will not be investigated - they are making themselves ill over it all.

Would they really not have to prove where this money came from?

ThatsNotMyBabyBelly Thu 01-Sep-11 21:25:13

I don't see how they could prove where the money came from - would they even know themsleves now? They were entitled to sign on - which they did. They were entitled to receive gifts - which they did. If they were self employed and received cash in hand then if this was at the same time as the signing on they were commiting an offence.

However, the amounts would need to be sustantial for HMRC to go back that far I would imagine.

Taken from the HMRC website

"The time limits for making assessments, determinations and claims have been changed in some cases. This might reduce compliance costs for customers and make compliance checks easier.

The time limit for some assessments and determinations will be four years from the end of the relevant tax period. There are some variations from this and the tables at CH56000 give a full summary.

For certain taxes HMRC can make assessments for up to six years after the end of the period where tax has been under-assessed or over-repaid because of careless behaviour by the person, or another person acting on their behalf. An assessment or determination can be made up to 20 years after the end of the period where tax has been under-assessed or over-repaid because of deliberate behaviour or certain failures."

On the information you have given,being occassional cash in hand work, I don't think this would be serious enough to go back for the 10 years but the only way to know for sure would be to talk to an accountant.

ThatsNotMyBabyBelly Thu 01-Sep-11 21:28:17

And it would be an accountant you would want, not a solicitor.

oneofsuesylvesterscheerios Fri 02-Sep-11 10:17:36

Thanks so much - I do appreciate it. The cash 'gifts' average out at £4K a year for a period of 7 years, which when you look at it like that, doesn't amount to much (as living costs I mean).

Thanks again smile

mranchovy Fri 02-Sep-11 13:56:18

Stop worrying about the handouts - these are NOT taxable income and they do NOT prevent you signing on or claiming benefits and this has always been the case (although if you have any savings as a result of receiving handouts, the savings income is taxable and if you have large savings it may affect your claim for means-tested benefits, but not JSA or UB that preceded it - and if we are only talking about £4,000 a year this is not an issue anyway unless the whole £28,000 was given at once!).

Not declaring the cash in hand income while signing on is another matter, but if DFES or whoever it was back then didn't find out about it at the time or try to contact the person since, they are not going to be interested in what happened over 10 years ago.

The person will already have an NI number - these stay with you for life - and they might be asked what they have been doing for the past 10 years, so answer any questions that are asked truthfully. If the person still feels guilty about their sins of the past, there's nothing they can do to change what they did then, but they might find voluntary work eases their concience.

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