Recently we have needed a plumber to do a job for us. The first plumber we got appears to have let us down badly as he walked off the job, promising to come back and did not. It turned out he had gone abroad on holiday.
We got a second plumber in to finish the work. The guy operated through a limited company, but when it came to pay, he offered a “discount” for paying in cash with no VAT. As you will probably know I spent my career in tax and I was rather upset to say the least. If he was taking cash in hand to allow me to avoid paying his VAT, he was certainly dodging tax on any cash he took, and of course deceiving his accountant as well as defrauding HMRC. That amounts to defrauding all of us as taxpayers.
I paid to his company including the VAT.
Now I have a problem. He did a good job, but should I dob him in to HMRC for his dishonesty? I shudder to think how many tradespeople still fiddle their taxes. Fortunately, I was not aware any of my former clients did, but of course I could not know. Maybe some did.