The Ranting Penguin notes that the taxman is going to chase all we little people for our pennies while letting the big corporations keep their pounds.
The taxman believes that the use of cash is, in itself, a tax dodge. One more step to the cashless world, in which every transaction is taxed electronically and we don't know how much tax we're paying any more.
So who are the culprits here? Not me, because the nature of my work does not allow for cash transactions. If someone wanted cash-in-hand microbiology work I'd be very wary indeed. The books, I could sell for cash, but in reality they're sold through booksellers. Sometimes I sell a signed copy but that's by cheque or PayPal. I can't make cash sales unless I try selling door-to-door!
Who, then, are the taxman targeting this time?
Paying a builder or cleaner in cash, allowing them to evade VAT or income tax,
will result in even deeper government cuts to public services, he says.
Cleaner? I've been looking at cleaner jobs and if a cleaner is even making enough to pass the tax threshold, I'd be amazed. You don't see many cleaners turning up for work in BMWs. So the taxman is going after minimum-wage earners while letting the big corporations off with billions. Paying a cleaner with cash doesn't matter at all. The tax loss is trivial, if there even is any.
Builders might make enough to show a difference but I suspect that if you took all the cash-in-hand work done by all the builders in the country, the tax loss wouldn't even touch the amounts those big businesses have been allowed to forget about.
I have a tax bill that's going to clean me out and yet it wouldn't cover an MP's monthly expenses. If I didn't pay it, there would be no cuts to services at all because it won't cover a single employee's wages. And yet this is the level the taxman is planning to attack with fines that will blow most small businesses right out of the water and put all those taxpaying workers on the dole.
Many small business owners are giving up and going back into waged employment because the government is doing its damnedest to destroy them. The array of fines a business can now face is astounding and those include fines for things that aren't even illegal. Such as not putting a sale in the ledger until the following day. There is no tax dodge there, all the money is accounted for, but if you don't fill it in in 'real time' they'll fine you £3000.
Then we have 'tax on account' where we have to pay next year's tax this year. If you are thinking of starting a business, be aware that at the end of your first year you will pay double tax. Then the tax office will report that most small businesses only last one year and will never make the connection.
Eventually we will all be working for a big corporation or we will be on benefits. There will be no small businesses and no more innovation. Corporations will stick to their tried and trusted sales, only upgrading current products and not bothering to develop anything new. Why take risks when there's no competition?
If Steve Jobs was a teenager today, building little computers in his garage, nobody would ever see an iPhone. The taxman would have eradicated him before he had 'Apple' listed as a trademark.