Q: Can I get an honour if I haven’t paid all my tax?

You might not immediately think that tax and honours have anything in common but the two are inextricably linked when it comes to successful honours nominations for UK citizens. The reality is if your taxes are up to date, your nomination for an honour stands a better chance of success.

The reason applications take between 12 and 18 months to process is that the Cabinet Office investigates nominees on the short list to make sure they don’t have a current criminal record, are under investigation by the police and that they are not tax dodgers. After all, the reputation of the honours system is at stake and they have to make sure that those awarded are upstanding members of the community with their taxes duly paid.

As the Cabinet Office says on its website, “The government carries out a number of checks to make sure that people who have been nominated for honours have not behaved in a way that might harm the honours system. And it adds, “All nominees will be checked by various government departments to make sure they’re suitable for an honour. This may include checks by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).”