I’ve been a self-employed window cleaner for the last 20 years. I do a lot of cash in hand and earn about £800 a week. Therefore, I’ve lost about £20k.

Like all self-employed people I don’t put everything through the books to keep my tax bill down. On paper I only earn about £12k, just enough that the taxman doesn’t come sniffing and I can still get a state pension. And that’s the problem, as the offer is only based on that i.e. they say I’ve lost about £6k.

I’ve told my solicitor I’ll see the taxi driver in court and will tell the judge exactly how much I’ve lost. Do you reckon I will get all my lost earnings back?


On the back of a fag packet you’ve nearly earned £40k a year but have paid next to nothing regarding tax. However, you’ve paid just enough National Insurance to make sure you get your state pension.

Yeah, go to court. I’m sure the judge will be really sympathetic… you idiot. My advice is you have come unstuck and you should swallow it. The risk is going to court, telling a judge you’ve defrauded the state by thousands of pounds and then getting reported to HMRC. I don’t know if you have the money to cover back tax of 20 odd years but I suspect not.

As an aside, no one likes paying tax bills. However, I have represented a great number of self-employed clients over the years and not everyone is like you.

Andrew Prendergast

Motorcycle Monthly February 2018