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Who's at fault in an illegal transaction, donor or recipient?

  1. Feb 5, 2008 #1
    My landlord came to pick the rent money this week end. I asked him for his account number so I could transfer him the money but he told me that he didn't have one (which was obviously a lie). I didn't think much of it and the next day I gave him the money in cash, with intentionally adding a $5 extra in there (the rest was in $10's and $20's). I put the $5 on top so it was unmissable. He counted the money and told me everything was there. That revealed him dishonest once again since it's impossible he had counted the right amount of money with the $5 in there, even had he miscounted the number of 10's or the number of 20's. And then I realized: he wants me to pay in cash so he can avoid taxation over the amount. I am kind of ticked off by the fact and now I'm ambivalent as to what I should do. Report him? I'd have to find alternative housing accommodation first. I'm also unsure; who's at fault, him or the both of us?
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2008
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 5, 2008 #2

    lisab

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    I had a landlord years ago who would never give me a receipt. He was very loose with things like tennent's agreements, as well. After I moved in, I kept asking about coming by to sign one, but he would always make some excuse why he couldn't do it then.

    I lived there for a year before I learned he was completely illiterate. Could this be the case with your landlord?

    But if you're right about him, I don't think it's your responsibility to turn him in to the authorities based on a hunch. (You don't, after all, have any hard proof of law breaking.) Just keep an eye on him -- he has the key to your apartment, you know.
     
  4. Feb 5, 2008 #3
    You gave him an extra $5. He might have thought it was a tip.

    After all, how stupid does one have to be to leave an extra $5 amidst a bunch of $10's and $20's and not notice it?
     
  5. Feb 5, 2008 #4
    You can leave a tip with the IRS with out giving your name, same goes with the state and city tax boards. Just send a letter with the guys name, address and your thoughts of his tax evasion.
     
  6. Feb 5, 2008 #5
    Are you renting the room from someone? What do you care if he avoids taxes? I think thats being a bit of a << marginal noun edited out by berkeman >> if hes giving you cheap rent.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 5, 2008
  7. Feb 5, 2008 #6

    Kurdt

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    Just because he prefers to accept cash I don't think you can leap to the conclusion that hes avoiding paying tax. Many people accept and still pay their taxes. He possibly didn't want to give account details in case you used them dishonestly.

    As for counting the money he may have thought the extra five dollars was an apology for being a day late or there are a multitude of other reasons.

    If you're really worried write a cheque next time.
     
  8. Feb 5, 2008 #7
    It's not cheap at all.

    The question I asked him was "Is that [amount of money I pay for rent]?", to which he answered yes. I thought this through, I'm not stupid. He charges $50 extra for cheques, which strengthens my suspicions.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2008
  9. Feb 5, 2008 #8
    I agree. If you are single, I hope you make good money so you will quickly learn how much of a pleasure it is to pay taxes.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 5, 2008
  10. Feb 5, 2008 #9
    In all the states I have lived in, neither of you has broken the law. You paid him the rent in legal currency. He accepted it. Use checks.

    I just saw your next post and you said "cheque" causing me to believe you don't live in the US. I know nothing about other countries. Is it legal to charge for accepting a check? Do you have anything comparable to a landlord tenant law as we do here? Do you have a legal advisor (perhaps off-campus housing) at your university?
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2008
  11. Feb 5, 2008 #10
    ^^^

    Yes it's legal, as far as I know. It's his property, I have to live on his terms. I currently reside in Alberta, Canada (I'm on a coop term). Cyrus, not only is what you're saying untenable, he's neglecting his duties as a citizen. Tax fraud is no joke.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2008
  12. Feb 5, 2008 #11
    Once, after I gave notice at my job, I was paid my last pay in cash. My boss wrote me a signed note saying that all the withholding had been taken from the amount, but that he was not going to tell the IRS about it. Bottom line, he intended to cheat the IRS, said so in writing, and had no intention of sharing the loot with me. I put away the note and then explained the situation to him in pretty much those terms. He informed the IRS.
     
  13. Feb 5, 2008 #12

    EnumaElish

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    Many people have an irrational fear of giving out their account numbers as if that's all the information anyone needs to transfer all of their savings to their own account.
     
  14. Feb 5, 2008 #13
    When I pay by check, I don't need the other guy's account number. What gives?
     
  15. Feb 5, 2008 #14

    Kurdt

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    Many large companies charge extra for payment by cheque as well. I think its due to the extra time and resources it takes to process them.
     
  16. Feb 5, 2008 #15
    So I should give him the benefit of the doubt? Fine, I don't want to throw false accusations around. I'll ask him for a receipt as soon as I see him - that will undoubtedly reveal what he's up to.
     
  17. Feb 5, 2008 #16

    BobG

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    Wow! You should definitely get a receipt at the time of payment if you're paying cash. How can you prove you've paid if he gets confused about who gave him the money or whether anyone gave him any money at all?

    As far as taxes, I don't see how taking rent in cash would be any different than taking cash payments at a store.
     
  18. Feb 5, 2008 #17

    Moonbear

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    If you're paying rent in cash, you should be getting a receipt at the time you hand over the cash, not waiting a few days. Otherwise, it's your word against his that you've paid...he could turn around and sue you for unpaid rent and you wouldn't have a leg to stand on not to have to pay twice. A lot of slumlords near universities take advantage of students they think (often correctly) are too naive about their rights as tenants to argue with them. Does Canada have the equivalent of money orders? For the recipient, they work like cash (i.e., no fears of a check bouncing...another reason some won't accept checks, or might ask you to pay extra by check), but for the payor, you have a receipt attached that you keep, so proof you paid.

    I'm not sure what Canadian law is, but in the US, the security deposit you put on an apartment MUST be kept in an escrow account, so any landlord who requires a security deposit has to have a bank account for that at least.

    I wouldn't worry about reporting him for taxes...leave that up to the government...but I would worry about keeping receipts for yourself.
     
  19. Feb 5, 2008 #18
    If you get a receipt, that's all you need. Be happy and don't look for trouble.
     
  20. Feb 5, 2008 #19

    EnumaElish

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    Sure; but now he has your number (on the check) :smile:

    I was responding to the OP's comment "I asked him for his account number so I could transfer him the money but he told me that he didn't one"
     
  21. Feb 5, 2008 #20

    Danger

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    What city/town, Werg? I don't divulge my specific town because it would positively identify me, and I understand if you take the same stance. I'm near Calgary.
    By the way, our landlady gave us 6 months notice, and an apology, when she had to raise our rent by $25/month to cover utility costs. We don't get receipts, but there are bank records of our direct deposits into her account.
     
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