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Hotel bookings in cash

Who pays for a hotel in cash?

Clutching at straws and as a complete generalisation for starters, does anyone have any idea of what proportion of hotel bookings would typically be made in cash ? Or ideally have a link to such data or useful comment?

We're talking low-end London hotels, say £45-£60 per night, not too dis-similar from a guest house, so customers are likely to be tradesmen, budget tourists, perhaps younger people on a night out etc. Hotel used booking.com and Laterooms etc.  I'm thinking that the majority of bookings would be either through an online agent, with the majority of the others paying by credit/debit card on arrival. Can't believe that many people these days would pay by cash, especially as you can't typically reserve rooms in advance, and I understand that hotels generally want ID and card details anyway for security purposes anyway.

I'm thinking 5%-10% tops.

Absolutely no accounting records to rely upon, other than bank statements.

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31st Oct 2017 07:26

You say there are no records but what paperwork is given to the guests when they check out? I'd also be surprised if there was not some form of booking diary.

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31st Oct 2017 09:25

I agree that there would have been records originally, unfortunately nothing is available now. It’s a criminal matter rather than an accounts client, so slightly different circumstances.

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31st Oct 2017 09:31

I would expect most MPs to pay in cash.

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31st Oct 2017 10:28

If it's a criminal matter & the client is facing trial then (1) the burden is normally on the prosecution and (2) generally speaking the 'how much?' question is of secondary importance.

However the position is to some extent different on confiscation post conviction.
David

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to davidwinch
31st Oct 2017 10:41

It's confiscation, so burden is firmly on him to displace the assumption and 'how much' is definitely of primary importance!

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to Sheepy306
31st Oct 2017 10:52

Take legal advice ;)

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to davidwinch
02nd Nov 2017 08:41

davidwinch wrote:

Take legal advice ;)

You should consult (and pay David Winch) for his expert help.

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to davidwinch
02nd Nov 2017 10:37

It's confiscation, the client has legal representation, and I'm instructed accordingly. As you know, lawyers generally aren't exactly great with numbers themselves!

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31st Oct 2017 14:01

A chap told me that he'd checked into a hotel in Scarborough earlier this year. He offered cash, the receptionist said, "we don't accept cash, sir".

He didn't have a card, so he went home.

Everyone's a loser.

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to lionofludesch
01st Nov 2017 11:49

lionofludesch wrote:

Everyone's a loser

Have you been to Scarborough?

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01st Nov 2017 11:27

Though I `jumped ship` from previous life as an HMRC Inspector over 20 years ago, I believe the Business economics model for a hotel could be applied.
The hotel has a fixed number of rooms and each room is generally available 365 days a year, and there will be a pricing structure, hence a maximum gross take can be determined.
The `proprietor` should then advise you on occupancy rates, which should be supported from some form of booking system/diary. I believe there is a statutory obligation to be able to identify occupants of a hotel at any time, for Health & safety reasons, e.g. in the case of a fire.
I know the question wasn`t about a tax enquiry, but I would stress the potential to a client, that with finite rooms, days and statutory records HMRC could have an easy `foot in the door`

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By DJKL
01st Nov 2017 11:48

Location , location, location.

If the rooms are often used to host the activities of that older and more prestigious profession than lawyers, then the hotel could take a fair bit of cash, same goes for hotels oft used by couples (only being a couple for a shortish interval) where leaving little trace of activity (damming evidence in another parlance) is
possibly an important consideration.

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to DJKL
02nd Nov 2017 10:56

Good guess DJKL, the case is indeed to do with that profession.
The purpose of the question was to try and establish what the 'norm' is for a genuine hotel receiving cash bookings for rooms, and then compare the norm with the actual cash takings, thereby getting a rough value of the illicit takings.
The difficulty is that, as you suggest, there are a number of reasons that people may pay in cash, particularly genuine foreign tourists, so the % does indeed vary depending upon location.

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to Sheepy306
02nd Nov 2017 11:19

I see now.
My guess is that whatever formula you come up with, the opposition should be able to pick lots of holes in it, through no fault of yours. Too much guesswork.

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to Red Leader
03rd Nov 2017 00:01

You're up late - it's gone 5.30 :o)

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to Sheepy306
02nd Nov 2017 14:55

So if I understand you correctly then there ARE records of cash receipts / total receipts?
David

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By DJKL
to Sheepy306
02nd Nov 2017 19:33

Well, somewhere in the dim and distant recesses of my brain I recall a news story, many years ago, about an HMRC officer who "assisted" a young lady with her tax affairs for rewards, that if he had been an employee, would have been considered benefits; it was good to see an officer so dedicated to his work that he applied himself to it outside office hours.

He may have received some free accommodation after his trial, memory a bit hazy re the outcome.

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