Is paying tradesmen in hand morally wrong? Watch

ForKicks
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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-18964640

Personally I think it is ridiculous to put the responsibility on the buyer and not the tradesman who is taking the cash in hand and offering any discount. What the **** is wrong with the BBC and people to twist everything to condemn the middle class? Seriously, most tradesman give little choice in how you pay.
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Elwyn
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I think it's disgusting how the same government who is squeezing every last penny out of the middle and lower classes has a go at those same people for trying to save some extra cash.
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That Bearded Man
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Blaming tradesmen for the hidden economy is a great way to avoid bringing up about the super-rich tax avoiders
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username33685
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Morally, I see it as no different to corporations and the rich employing clever accountants to minimize the amount of tax they pay. The argument that "they do it more so when I do it it doesn't count" doesn't wash with me.
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fire2burn
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Nothing morally wrong with it at all, cash is legal tender therefore it is perfectly fine to use it for obtaining goods and services. If my plumber chooses not to declare it that his problem not mine.

In any case the day I take a lesson on morality from politicians who thought it perfectly acceptable to spend tax payers money on second homes and duck houses is the day hell freezes over.
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That Bearded Man
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(Original post by rich2606)
Morally, I see it as no different to corporations and the rich employing clever accountants to minimize the amount of tax they pay. The argument that "they do it more so when I do it it doesn't count" doesn't wash with me.
Why not? A man killing 1000 people deserves a greater punishment than a man who kills only one.
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Manitude
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As someone pointed out above, there's nothing wrong in paying cash. What's wrong it the tradesman not declaring his income to avoid (evade?) tax. Seeing as tradesmen are often very well paid they can most certainly afford to pay tax, and if everyone else has to so should they. Nobody wants to pay tax, but most people just can't avoid it.
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Robertall
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Paying in cash is not a problem, it is legal to do this. I paid for a service, it is up to the tradesman to declare it.
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username33685
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(Original post by That Bearded Man)
Why not? A man killing 1000 people deserves a greater punishment than a man who kills only one.
Yes, but if murder is a crime then both should be punished. The second guy can't try and justify it and escape punishment by stating there are worse examples out there.

What irks me most about this is that the same people who earlier slammed the rich for avoiding tax are now championing the right of the "poor" to do the same thing (well, evasion).
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Herr
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I don't work for HMRC, therefore they shouldn't expect me to do their job.

If I have a blocked sink and need a plumber then I need one that will come immediately, after doing the job how am I supposed to pay him if it is not by cash? I can't be asking him to take a credit card now could I? It isn't a feasible option for me to start asking him for his bank account to transfer it and I won't expect him to accept such an arrangement either, knowing the kind of excuses people can come up with to avoid paying.
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That Bearded Man
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(Original post by rich2606)
Yes, but if murder is a crime then both should be punished. The second guy can't try and justify it and escape punishment by stating there are worse examples out there.

What irks me most about this is that the same people who earlier slammed the rich for avoiding tax are now championing the right of the "poor" to do the same thing (well, evasion).
With such a low amount though I cant see how you would view him equally immoral

At the end of the day, he's not a millionaire, he's just trying to raise his family etc. the taxpayer isn't put out by much
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Clip
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(Original post by rich2606)
Morally, I see it as no different to corporations and the rich employing clever accountants to minimize the amount of tax they pay. The argument that "they do it more so when I do it it doesn't count" doesn't wash with me.
It's completely different, and relates to a completely different type of taxation.

Big firm - say Tesco. You buy goods from them worth £100. There is no way that Tesco can escape collecting the VAT on that transaction - and the balance of VAT will be paid to HMRC at the end of the VAT quarter. This is true of any large concern (except Rangers FC).

If Tesco make a profit, they will be liable for Corporation Tax, to be paid before any distribution of shareholder funds. PAYE and stamps have to be paid on all wages for all employees.

Some tradesman comes to your house to install a sink waste trap. You pay in cash, the transaction disappears. No VAT is paid on that deal, he doesn't declare it and it goes straight into his pocket without forming part of the profits of his business. So there is no NI on it, and assuming he is a sole trader, this even decreases his liability for tax.

It's not the same as a corporation paying an accountancy firm to be clever. What accountancy firms suggest is generally legal and is also paid for (generating more revenue and more tax). Paying cash-in-hand is explicitly illegal and degenerates the economy.

In certain cases, let's say a person who works solely for cash and declares nothing - that person also has no income and can even be claiming benefit at the same time - so not only are they taking from all sides, but are contributing nothing.
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Clip
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(Original post by Herr)
I don't work for HMRC, therefore they shouldn't expect me to do their job.

If I have a blocked sink and need a plumber then I need one that will come immediately, after doing the job how am I supposed to pay him if it is not by cash? I can't be asking him to take a credit card now could I? It isn't a feasible option for me to start asking him for his bank account to transfer it and I won't expect him to accept such an arrangement either, knowing the kind of excuses people can come up with to avoid paying.
You don't understand. There is nothing to stop you paying anyone by cash. If you go to McDonalds, you can be sure that they are not taking £1.39£2.19 for a Happy Meal and hiding it under the counter.*

The point is that normally the arrangement will be thus: To unblock your sink will cost £100 + VAT, or £120 if the person is not VAT registered. This person will normally "offer" to do it for £100 (no VAT) if you pay them in cash.

You then do not receive a bill, and the transaction effectively did not happen. In all likelihood, they will deny that it occurred. In return, they unblock your sink, and pocket the £100.

If you do not want to aid someone in tax fraud, you simply pay the VAT and ask for an invoice. If they are not VAT registered, you ask for a bill.




*Some of you may have noticed that in some franchises of some popular fried chicken outlets, what you order and what is displayed on the till are not the same thing. You might order a Chicken Fillet Burger meal, but the assistant rings up a much cheaper item, but charges you the full amount, and gives you the correct change. Why do you think this is?

**EDIT** - Happy meal price incorrect.
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ForKicks
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(Original post by Manitude)
As someone pointed out above, there's nothing wrong in paying cash. What's wrong it the tradesman not declaring his income to avoid (evade?) tax. Seeing as tradesmen are often very well paid they can most certainly afford to pay tax, and if everyone else has to so should they. Nobody wants to pay tax, but most people just can't avoid it.
What is wrong is that the whole responsibility of the tradesmen is glanced over and the paying in cash from the customer is criticised, which is rather silly!
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ForKicks
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(Original post by That Bearded Man)
With such a low amount though I cant see how you would view him equally immoral

At the end of the day, he's not a millionaire, he's just trying to raise his family etc. the taxpayer isn't put out by much
It's on the action and thoughts. Scale should not have anything to do with it if you are talking about morality. Whether you kill one person or a hundred people doesn't change if you think killing is wrong.
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Clip
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(Original post by ForKicks)
It's on the action and thoughts. Scale should not have anything to do with it if you are talking about morality. Whether you kill one person or a hundred people doesn't change if you think killing is wrong.
I think it matters a lot to the other 99 people.
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ForKicks
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(Original post by Clip)
I think it matters a lot to the other 99 people.
Maybe I should have said 'Whether you see someone kill one person or 100, it doesn't change if you believe what they are doing is wrong'.
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JC.
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Nothing "morrally" wrong about it at all.
If you get a discount for using one payment method over another then whats the problem? If I sell something on eBay i'd rather be paid cash for it than have 2% taken off me in paypal fees ontop of the eBay selling and listing fees!

At the end of the day if you're buying goods and services the accounts of the person you're buying from is absolutely none of your business.
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ForKicks
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(Original post by JC.)
Nothing "morrally" wrong about it at all.
If you get a discount for using one payment method over another then whats the problem? If I sell something on eBay i'd rather be paid cash for it than have 2% taken off me in paypal fees ontop of the eBay selling and listing fees!

At the end of the day if you're buying goods and services the accounts of the person you're buying from is absolutely none of your business.
True, but why do many people find this form of tax dodging morally acceptable but not that of the rich? It is quite the double standard!
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limetang
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No. You're not responsible for the actions of the tradesman after he/she is paid. If they choose not to pay tax on cash given to them that's their own choice, but they're the criminals, and it is their choice not to pay tax which is morally long.
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