Cash is king! Cash Traders- still the easy option for the taxman!

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Even in this age of debit cards and contactless payments, many traders still take and prefer cash! Who would refuse it if offered! Cash is king and always will be!

HMRC are old fashioned and still recoup many thousands from those handling cash! Traders at car boots sales, market traders (including lucrative Christmas markets and antique markets, not mention the old favourites, like fish and chip shops, cafes, window cleaners, second hand car traders, car valets, dog breeders, tradesmen doing domestic work!

It is easy to exceed the VAT threshold too even unintentionally and automatically let the taxman’s foot in the door.

Restaurants and takeaway food outlets are among those targeted by late night HMRC raids in recent years and few of those escaped scrutiny and a large tax bill for under declaring significant amounts of sales in cash.

Fancy tills these days are computers, making it harder to override the transactions when HMRC interrogate the system and find out the true measure of the days takings!

Once in the door HMRC will request the records and the rest is history. They can use a variety of software to identify any discrepancies between figures in a business’s accounts and those it expects to see and also revert to the Merchant Services provider quickly for details of all your card takings, from which they can easily establish expected cash takings or use estimates.

There may of course be no wrongdoing by the business owner, but their tests are designed to rattle you and can produce early disclosures by a nervous proprietor especially if your business involves cash sales.

Undercover covert observation of your business is common for restaurants and others like car sales and valeting businesses and an experienced adviser like me will stand up to this and defend HMRC’s findings it to the hilt.

Good record keeping is the best defence, but not always present, so bolster this up now we are in the realms of ‘Making Tax Digital’. Make it your reason to improve the business records as forewarned is forearmed!


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