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cash at the barbers restaurants etc

why do i have to pay in [email protected]

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So I live in a certain county and wherever I go for a harcut I am told I can only pay in cash.  I previously lived in a London borough and also had to pay in cash.

If I asked why a barber's if they have a cash machine I always get the reply 'we only take cash: and by the way, there is a cash machine over the road that you can use.'  I have enquired of friends and colleagues and I cannot find one who is able to pay by card.  

Today three of us went to a smart cafe in a London Borough and to my amazement they have no card machines and we found it almost impossible to get a bill out of them and were given only a total figure.  I do believe that this practice is spreading and to be honest I find it disgusting when so many honest businesses must and do declare everything.

So my question is 'why?'  I am sure that Inspectors of Taxes have haircuts and also visit this long established and well known smart cafe. 

Why isn't the practice stopped and why in my opinion is the demand for cash at tills increasing.  Like I said it makes me very angry .   Its basically mocking the taxman, you and me.  I bet they themselves like receipts and pay by card when they go to Tescos and quite right to.  Do other colleagues experience the same issue as me and feel as angry about the whole experience?  

Replies (92)

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By SteveHa
11th Apr 2019 10:01

I'm bald as a coot. I don't go to the barbers, or to London cafes.

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Glenn Martin
By Glenn Martin
11th Apr 2019 10:04

It’s a decision of the operator of the business and does not mean they are suppressing takings.

For items under £10 I can see why a business would not want to take a card payment as they get charged 50p for the card merchant so on a £5 hair cut that’s a big slice

The big chain coffee shops where you pay over the odds will have this built into there pricing as they expect to get paid via contactless payments

You are wrong in assumption that cash takings are in the increase

I do a lot of work in leisure and the take split is probably 80/20 in favour of cards which is a total reversal of things were 10 years ago

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Replying to Glennzy:
RLI
By lionofludesch
11th Apr 2019 15:09

Glennzy wrote:

For items under £10 I can see why a business would not want to take a card payment as they get charged 50p for the card merchant so on a £5 hair cut that’s a big slice

£5 for a haircut ?

I can remember when it was 1/9.

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Replying to lionofludesch:
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By andy.partridge
11th Apr 2019 15:32

A ninth of what?

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Replying to andy.partridge:
RLI
By lionofludesch
11th Apr 2019 15:56

andy.partridge wrote:

A ninth of what?

Tsssk - you young people.

One shilling and ninepence.

Or 8¾p in new-fangled money.

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Replying to lionofludesch:
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By andy.partridge
11th Apr 2019 17:27

Not really. I remember when a Mars bar cost me two threepenny bits.

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Replying to lionofludesch:
Glenn Martin
By Glenn Martin
11th Apr 2019 16:23

Actually my barber is £8.50, i think he has set it at that level so you just say keep the change out of a Placido, as he always rakes around for shrapnel to make up the change.

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Replying to Glennzy:
By Charlie Carne
12th Apr 2019 10:31

Glennzy wrote:
For items under £10 I can see why a business would not want to take a card payment as they get charged 50p for the card merchant so on a £5 hair cut that’s a big slice

It used to be the case that the card processors' fees to retailers were charged as a percentage of the amount paid for credit cards (approx 2%) and a fixed amount for debit cards (approx 20p), though certain cards were charged at higher amounts. My understanding is that these days all cards are charged by way of a percentage commission, so there should be no need for the retailer to refuse a card, no matter how small the payment, as their total card fees for a single payment of £100 will be the same as for 20 payments of £5. (Please someone tell me if I'm wrong.

I went to a newly opened take-away a year or so ago and tried to pay £9 with a card. They pointed to the sign that said "minimum £10 by card", so I responded that it was fine and I'd go next door and buy my food there instead. The sign was removed and has never been an issue since.

In my opinion, any retailer who refuses cards or sets a de minimis is harming their business. There are many customers who only use cards. I, myself, hardly ever spend cash. Even 60p for milk at Tesco is paid by card (actually by Apple Pay on my watch).
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Replying to charliecarne:
RLI
By lionofludesch
12th Apr 2019 10:40

charliecarne wrote:

I went to a newly opened take-away a year or so ago and tried to pay £9 with a card. They pointed to the sign that said "minimum £10 by card", so I responded that it was fine and I'd go next door and buy my food there instead.

Yeah - not sure that being forced to go to your second choice takeaway means you were the winner there, Charlie.

Did you queue up twice ?

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By penelope pitstop
11th Apr 2019 15:48

Question?

Why do you never see a chimpanzee/monkey/baboon etc. sitting next to you at the hairdressers, barbers etc.

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Replying to penelope pitstop:
Glenn Martin
By Glenn Martin
11th Apr 2019 16:25

Be a brave Monkey that would chance its arm in a Turkish barbers.

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Replying to Glennzy:
By penelope pitstop
11th Apr 2019 16:29

Monkey etc. DNA is about 99.99999% (or whatever) identical to human DNA.

Amazing how their hair never grows like human hair. It just reaches a certain length and then stops.

So that's why you never see monkeys, chimps or baboons etc. sitting next to you in hairdressers etc.

(Although I did see one staring at me last time I sat in the chair for a hairdo!)

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Replying to penelope pitstop:
Glenn Martin
By Glenn Martin
11th Apr 2019 16:34

Human hair only grows constantly on your head, body hair stops like a monkeys.

Maybe monkeys just have body hair on their heads.

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Replying to Glennzy:
By penelope pitstop
11th Apr 2019 16:47

So that explains the 0.00001% DNA difference.

Just wonder when that change occurred?

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Replying to penelope pitstop:
RLI
By lionofludesch
11th Apr 2019 16:56

Last Tuesday.

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Replying to lionofludesch:
By penelope pitstop
12th Apr 2019 08:43

Explains an awful lot!

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Replying to penelope pitstop:
Glenn Martin
By Glenn Martin
11th Apr 2019 17:07

Maybe their head hair will evolve once Turkish monkeys learn barbering skills. So they will then have someone to style their new growth.

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By monksview
12th Apr 2019 10:00

This is why I love this site. These occasional gems make it all worthwhile!

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By ChrisKH
12th Apr 2019 10:18

My local Chinese takeaway doesn't take cards and neither does the associated Nail Parlour next door to it. A lot of smaller businesses operate on this basis.

I have an acquaintance who is currently buying a relatively large tea rooms in a genteel sea-side town, which is largely cash based. The seller has timed the completion to occur just after Easter. I summised this is for two reasons; the tea rooms are heaving at the moment because of the Easter break and they want to capture the best sales before they transfer the business and they also want to dispose of the business before or just as MTD hits.

Why? Well, the word is they have been skimming off the top and discovery is now much more likely. There is a good chance that some other cash based businesses do the same. We would look a bit silly if we didn't consider this was at least a possibility.

Personally I'm all for a more equitable system of business taxation where this isn't possible.

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Replying to ChrisKH:
By Duggimon
12th Apr 2019 10:30

I'm going to take issue with one of your points there. MTD will do absolutely nothing that the current system doesn't already do to detect that kind of fraud.

Indeed if anything it'll make it easier as there's only so many staff in HMRC and this mess is going to take up a lot of their time.

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Replying to ChrisKH:
Glenn Martin
By Glenn Martin
12th Apr 2019 10:35

It does suprise me when takeaways only take cash, as surely that means they are also not on delivery sites like Justeat and Deliveroo.

I looked at a takeaway recently and I was amazed at the volume of trade they did through justeat from only a small shop it was far bigger than the on site business.

It could be those that are doing things the way they always have are actually missing out massively by not getting involved with more modern ways of doing business.

I also would suspect that there possibly a greater black economy of businesses trading through ebay and the like and not declaring there earnings as business income.

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Replying to Glennzy:
RLI
By lionofludesch
12th Apr 2019 10:44

Glennzy wrote:

It does surprise me when takeaways only take cash, as surely that means they are also not on delivery sites like Justeat and Deliveroo.

I dunno, Glenn - surely it's Justeat that have the card machine. The takeaway place doesn't need one, does it ? I'm not sure how it works.

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Replying to lionofludesch:
By Duggimon
12th Apr 2019 10:57

You're right, I've got two brothers who run chip shops, one has a card machine and one doesn't. They both use Just Eat and Just Eat collect the card sales and distribute once a month, or bi-weekly or weekly if your numbers go high enough.

There is, as far as I know, no way for the card sales to go direct to the proprietor, even if they do take card payments themselves.

They'll also take cash sales through Just Eat, the folk ordering just pay the driver, presumably if all the orders were cash then the payments would just go the other way with the businesses being billed for the commission.

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Replying to lionofludesch:
Glenn Martin
By Glenn Martin
12th Apr 2019 11:01

Yes Justeat takes the money takes its 15% cut then pays the trader weekly.

But its through the banking system and therefore traceable. I am assuming that if you only take cash for the opportunity to suppress it or use it to pay staff cash wages off payroll that you would not do Justeat as it creates quite a large paper trail.

I imagine its a worthwile exercise of HMRC to get a batch of data from Justeat then matching it back to the traders accounts.

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Replying to Glennzy:
RLI
By lionofludesch
12th Apr 2019 11:16

Glennzy wrote:

I imagine its a worthwhile exercise of HMRC to get a batch of data from Justeat then matching it back to the traders accounts.

Sure - if everybody orders through Justeat. Seems unlikely to me , though.

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Replying to ChrisKH:
RLI
By lionofludesch
12th Apr 2019 10:32

ChrisKH wrote:

Why? Well, the word is they have been skimming off the top and discovery is now much more likely.

Why's that then ?

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@enanen
By enanen
12th Apr 2019 10:29

Is this a serious post?

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Replying to enanen:
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By andy.partridge
12th Apr 2019 10:37

Yours? Not sure.

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By leon0001
12th Apr 2019 10:50

Cash is necessary to those who are poor or homeless.

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Oaklea
By Chris.Mann
12th Apr 2019 10:59

One things for sure, I'd lay odds that the OP wishes he'd never made the original enquiry?

It's been a long time since I've seen the breadth of (humorous) responses, as in this thread.

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Replying to Chris.Mann:
Glenn Martin
By Glenn Martin
12th Apr 2019 11:09

Its good though its taking people away from talking about MTD.

Its a while since a thread has gone over 50 replies without it becoming abusive or Bob Harper involved.

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By davidbarry
12th Apr 2019 11:45

As the author of the question I was making a serious point.
If I go into a restaurant, a bill is held back and I have to pay in cash then to me this is fraudulent trading. Firstly, I am required to work out the cost at ordering and secondly i want to pay legally with a card. The point here is that if the trader was required to use a card machine then the trader would have no choice than to issue a full receipt that I could check. There were three of us, I paid, and I sincerely regret refusing to pay until such time as I was issued a proper receipt. It would NOT happen if the trader was forced to use a card machine.
I understood that the purpose of MTD was that HMRC calculated £10 billion - £18 billion in extra revenue. How 'unfair' (and where is HMRC ?) that there are types of businesses who can currently escape MTD by demanding cash only for their services? I can think of plenty more.

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Replying to davidbarry:
RLI
By lionofludesch
12th Apr 2019 12:01

davidbarry wrote:

As the author of the question I was making a serious point.
If I go into a restaurant, a bill is held back and I have to pay in cash then to me this is fraudulent trading.

And is that happening ?

You say there that "a bill is held back". No "if". A certainty. Are you genuinely saying that ? If so, what's your justification for it ?

I'll accept cash for my services. If you're saying that means I don't declare it, you'll be hearing from my solicitors.

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Replying to davidbarry:
Glenn Martin
By Glenn Martin
12th Apr 2019 13:54

Paying by card does not guarentee anything really.

The little receipt that comes from the PDQ machine is not a valid receipt for VAT/Tax purposes.

Its a valid till receipt or bill that you need the payment method is a side issue.

Surely he must have give you a bill for your food

Who is to say that the card machine money does not go into his private bank account and is not declared.

If your moral compass is around paying tax to UK HMRC do you go to the big chains where you can pay by card but they pay no tax on UK soil.

Do you shop with Google, Amazon or use Facebook etc.

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Pile of Stones
By Beach Accountancy
12th Apr 2019 20:00

The card machine at my barbers is frequently "out of service" so I have to pay cash anyway. Just thought, I wonder if that's deliberate...

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By justsotax
15th Apr 2019 12:24

I visit my local costa on a regular basis and it is frustrating when the machine goes down and they only take cash. That said it appears according to David that that is quite obviously fraudulent activity....really!?

There's one thing to be said about cash....it is unlikely to be spent outside of the local community (if indeed fraudulent activity is taking place), unlike the cash earned by some of our less scrupulous millionaires and global companies. I know which I prefer....

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Replying to justsotax:
RLI
By lionofludesch
15th Apr 2019 12:37

justsotax wrote:

I visit my local costa on a regular basis and it is frustrating when the machine goes down and they only take cash. That said it appears according to David that that is quite obviously fraudulent activity....really!?

Surely it'd be a lot easier to have no card machine in the first place rather than pretend it wasn't working.

I've been in a couple of places in the recent past where cash was the only way to pay, owing to technology failures.

If there had been no cash, these businesses would have been forced to close. Cash is our fall back option.

Also, for those English businesses which refuse the Scottish £20 notes on the grounds that "they can't accept something which isn't legal tender", how would they trade without cash ?

Cards are not legal tender.

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