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Attitudes shift as more tradies declare cashies

More tradies across New Zealand are declaring all income they earn from cash jobs following the launch of a crackdown on cashies.

Lester Binns, Chief Executive of said only one day into Inland Revenue's campaign he had received around 1,000 calls from people checking if they needed to add in cashies to their tax refund information which they'd submitted.

Inland Revenue's Marketing and Communications Group Manager, Andrew Stott, said the results of the campaign so far have been outstanding.

Mr Binns said his call volumes had been much higher than normal since the advertising began.

"We have received a wide range of calls from people and businesses including one tradie who received $68,000 of cashies for painting jobs," Mr Binns said.

"Callers also wanted to check they're doing the right thing and to pay the right amount of tax. Reminding individuals and businesses it's illegal to do work for cashies is a good thing as it only disadvantages the majority of Kiwis who work hard and pay their fair share of tax," said Mr Binns.

Mr Stott said, "the 'declare it all or risk everything' radio, newspaper and mobile adverts are a prompt for everyone not just 'the little guys'.

Not just the 'small fry'

"It's early days but already we're seeing a shift in attitude. What's also clear is there's a common misconception we only target 'small fry' evaders - this is not the case. We have identified tradespeople as being a high risk sector but we take all levels of tax evasion seriously. We're finding people who receive $30,000 in cash for a job and put it straight into their pocket.

"Our concern is when individuals or businesses don't pay their fair share of tax they're basically cheating those who are doing the right thing and expecting others to pay their way," said Mr Stott.

Last year, for every dollar Inland Revenue invested in its Hidden Economy programme it got nearly $6 back.

Inland Revenue also uses tools and intelligence to identify individuals and companies not paying their fair share of tax. By providing information, reminders, seminars, compliance checks and online self-assessment tools it help taxpayers declare and pay the right amounts. It also closely scrutinises large corporates to ensure they're getting their taxes right.

The 'declare it all or risk everything' campaign runs in the Auckland suburbs of Flatbush, Takanini, Silverdale and Albany until the end of June and may be rolled out wider.