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Ex trying to avoid paying maintenance by dealing soley in cash

(30 Posts)
Heatherjayne1972 Sun 19-Jun-16 17:54:08

Looks like my ex is dealing totally in cash to avoid paying tax or maintenance for our kids
He's already been in trouble with Hmrc for not dealing with his tax return
I am just beginning the divorce process so he thinks he's being clever by hiding his income
Can I do anything about it? Contact Hmrc or will it all come to light anyway when he has to complete form E.
Thoughts anyone??

ffon Sun 19-Jun-16 21:08:58


Collaborate Sun 19-Jun-16 23:06:15

It all depends on the evidence you have. Gather together now evidence of things bought but paid for by cash, e.g. holidays. It can be very hard to prove.

babybarrister Mon 20-Jun-16 10:12:55

you need to take very good advice as it may not be to your advantage to report him to HMRC .....they will collect their dues first out of his capital prior to any claim by you and he may be banged up which would then affect his earning capacity

LaPharisienne Mon 20-Jun-16 10:29:09

If he is tax dodging, then reporting him to HMRC is the right thing to do.

Baby barrister, are you actually advising the OP to allow their XDP to dodge tax because it's in the OP's best (financial) interests? I presume you are not a practising lawyer...


babybarrister Mon 20-Jun-16 12:20:46

I am a practising lawyer - it is the advice all family lawyers would give to a wife in these circumstances - look before you leap .....!

LaPharisienne Mon 20-Jun-16 12:26:06


babybarrister Mon 20-Jun-16 13:53:04

Our obligation is to our clients - it is that simple. The Judge, however, may [but does not always] take a different view and can report people to the relevant authorities. Tax evaders therefore generally settle their divorce cases pronto unless they are utterly crazy grin

LaPharisienne Mon 20-Jun-16 14:11:45

Yes - your clients. The OP is not your client therefore you don't owe her any duty - you therefore couldn't even argue that there is a conflict between your obligation to act in her best interests with your duties to uphold the rule of law and behave in a way that maintains the trust the public places in you and in the provision of legal services.

I will now report this thread - presume you just weren't thinking. Sorry OP.

babybarrister Mon 20-Jun-16 15:13:27

That is absolutely fine - I suspect that many family lawyers would be rather bemused by your stance given I have advised the OP to take proper advice given what might be at stake and what her instructed lawyers might well advise her

Collaborate Mon 20-Jun-16 15:21:18

LaPharisienne - you don't work for HMRC do you?

babybarrister has given proper advice to OP. It might not be in the best interests of tax-payers collectively, but people are still entitled to be advised based on what is best for them, provided they are not advised to break the law.

This is the Legal section, not AIBU.

Fourormore Mon 20-Jun-16 15:32:20

Babybarrister has not advised the OP to do anything - merely pointed out what the consequences of reporting the ex to OP may be. The OP has no obligation to report her ex to HMRC in any case.

Spero Mon 20-Jun-16 18:11:57

Another practising family lawyer here and I agree with babybarrister. It is sensible to get proper advice before you rush off and do anything. There is nothing inappropriate about that!

HopeArden Mon 20-Jun-16 18:18:16

Really getting fed up of people running off and reporting threads because they've read something they don't like.

prh47bridge Mon 20-Jun-16 18:49:37

Agree with Babybarrister and others.

There is no law requiring the OP to report her ex to HMRC. It is perfectly reasonable to advise her of the potential consequences of doing so. The OP can then make an informed decision. She would have every right to be upset if her lawyer didn't warn her and she ended up worse off as a result.

babybarrister Mon 20-Jun-16 20:49:31

Thank you prh, spero and collaborate - all of whom are very experienced family lawyers. Maybe some of the others are too and thanks to you too - if we are get reported, presumably no-one is ever going to give any advice on herehmm

LaPharisienne Tue 21-Jun-16 21:02:47

No, don't work for HMRC.

Agree that the OP take advice - that's why I double checked in my first post that baby barrister was in fact advising the OP to ignore tax evasion because it was in her best interests.

To me, suggesting someone should ignore tax evasion because they may well profit from that evasion in the future or at the very least because acting to stop that evasion could harm their financial interests, does not uphold the rule of law or serve to maintain the trust the public places in the profession I.e. a conduct issue. I didn't report the thread because I disagreed with what baby barrister said - I'm sure s/he's correct about this being one potential outcome, I reported the thread because I think advice like this brings the profession into disrepute.

FWIW, advising a client of the range of potential outcomes from proposed action having understood the circumstances fully but allowing them to draw their own conclusions and decide on the best course of action having considered those outcomes would be entirely different, of course.

Spero Wed 22-Jun-16 00:28:44

I did not read anything baby barrister said to be 'ignore tax evasion' .

What she said was 'get advice before you report it'. Which is entirely sensible.

i am glad you did not report this thread because there would seem to be utterly no need to do that.

HopeArden Wed 22-Jun-16 07:34:10

In the real world people with children to feed and mortgages to pay have to consider their own financial position first. Prioritising hmrc's right to the money is a luxury a lot of women in this situation can't afford and imo getting proper child support is the first priority. Besides it is upto hmrc to track down tax avoiders.

JMKid Thu 23-Jun-16 11:00:26

I personally would report him. I get no child maintenance at all because ex is claiming not to work, yet owns a non-registered business, all cash in hand and pays no tax, he does everything to avoid paying. If you are getting nothing or little anyway, it makes no difference financially to you the outcome.

BaboonBottom Thu 23-Jun-16 11:10:52

He won't get far for long dealing in only cash.
He will struggle to get a mortgage / remortgage as he has no income
He will struggle to rent somewhere as he has no income
If he pays more than £4000 in to a bank it has to be reported to HMRC
If he tries to buy a car from a car dealer and pays more than £4000 in cash, it has to be reported

Yes he can go out and buy 'stuff' in cash but thats about it. It won't be long before he has to start doing something different. He can be investigated by HMRC as they will expect him to be earning or getting money from somewhere. He needs a few transactions for supermarkets, petrol etc to be on his bank statement.

I know this doesn't help with your should i report or not dilemma but what I'm trying to say is what ever you do, he can't sustain it for a long time anymore.

LaPharisienne Thu 23-Jun-16 23:09:06

Spero if you read my first post, you'll see I double checked that baby barrister was advising the OP to ignore her X's tax dodging because it was in her financial interests. If you read her next post, you'll see she confirmed she was and that "all family lawyers" would advise the same. Hence my response.

prh47bridge Thu 23-Jun-16 23:31:30

Her response was that all family lawyers would advise the OP to look before she leaps. No matter how often you repeat it that is NOT advising the OP to ignore her ex's tax dodging. It is simply advising her to consider the possible consequences of reporting her ex before deciding what to do.

LaPharisienne Thu 23-Jun-16 23:50:45

Again, I asked specifically if she was advising the OP to allow her ex to tax dodge because it was in her financial interests. I therefore read her response as an answer that specific question.

Anyway - don't think we disagree that taking advice is sensible.

babybarrister Fri 24-Jun-16 12:32:21

You did NOT ask specifically if I was advising the OP to let her ex tax dodge and that is NOT how I read it. You were asking specifically whether I would advise the OP to take advice as to whether it was in her interests and it is that to which I was referring when I said that all family lawyers would advise the same - ie to go and take very careful advice.

I always avoid giving specific advice on here as I have no idea of the detail of anyone's financial position. Given I have no idea of this OP's capital position and whether therefore she has any capital to "lose" or equally whether she would be likely to obtain a spousal maintenance order in any event, it would have made no sense at all for me to have advised her one way or the other and I do not do that on here in any event.

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