The UK’s chief Tax Inspector – Dave Hartnett – accused UK householders who pay tradesman cash of helping to “diddle” the country, in an interview with The Daily Telegraph today.
He said people who pay cash in hand to tradesmen are “diddling” the economy and diverting money from hospitals and schools and leading to deeper cuts in spending on public services. And presumably from Civil Servants’ pensions: although the soon to retire Mr Hartnett who has a reputed £1.7 million pension pot didn’t mention that.
HMRC’s Permanent Secretary has been waging a verbal war against tax fraud for some time now. He encouraged everyone to fulfil their “duty to ensure that other people do not evade paying their share of tax”. Mr Hartnett urged anyone who suspects wrongdoing to telephone the taxman’s whistle-blower hotline, saying: “Every time someone pays cash in order not to pay VAT, the nation gets diddled”. He promised to follow up the information received with tough tax investigations: saying “We are getting better and better at finding people who receive cash.”
The Telegraph also reported that the Revenue is planning a sixfold increase in criminal prosecutions to 1,200 next year.
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