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We are getting quotes for some work around the house. One quote was $2500 for garden landscaping work (this was the lowest one). I was a bit surprised to be offered a cash deal (providing I wasn’t a business). There were no qualms about the fact that this cuts out GST and other expenses. I know people do cash in hand deals – but not normally for jobs this expensive. Tempting as it is, we have decided not to take the cash offer for this job. I find it hard to be sure what is the best thing to do when presented with such an option. In reality, the cash price should be closer to 50%, as they won’t pay GST or withhold any for wages either and they will be paying suppliers in cash too.


Posted anonymously, 11th May 2016


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  • Maybe the guy doesn’t have all of his own insurances he should have. He would have to be taking a wage to live on. Originally my understanding was that GST was paid once a small business had a turnover over a certain amount. Knowing what I know now, there is a strong possibility the person lied to me. Even if you are self employed you are still required to pay workcover. I wonder if he even has a license to be doing the work?

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  • Always best to be up front and honest and pay in full for all work and goods. Everyone is covered and then there is recourse if you are not happy with work and goods.

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  • Depends on what the actual job was but for “garden work” I would’ve taken a cash deal

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  • I like to have a receipt of the work as a record and also not support the dodgy work men avoiding tax etc.

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  • I prefer to go legitimate and have some recourse.


    • Legitimate is the way to go – too risky otherwise.

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  • I think I would do exactly like you. Pay a little more but have some warranty that the cash deal maybe wouldn’t give you.

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  • It is a difficult choice ay, whether to go for the cheap option and save yourself a bundle (depending on if there are no hiccups along the way) or pay that extra for peace of mind. I usually go for the more expensive one. Hopefully, that way, there are guarantees and warranties in place in case things go wrong. You are very lucky to have the luxury of being able to knock back the $2500 quote (not many of us have that kind of cash for our household in general, let alone for gardening work)

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