Working off the books

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ns0291
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Working off the books

Postby ns0291 » Thu Jan 06, 2011 2:45 am

I have been working in a small business for about 5 years (since my senior year in high school) and managing the business on a full-time basis for the past two years. The business has flourished under my management so the owners view me in very high regard. One of the partners is more than glad to serve as a reference and is willing to write me a professional letter of recommendation. One problem; I have been working with him off the books (reported no income) the whole time.

Questions:
Will the law schools that I apply to know that I have been working off the books and do they even care?
Will they/can they report me or my boss to the IRS?
How is this information relevant to potential scholarships/grants/financial aid?

Any advice, comments, or suggestion will be greatly appreciated.
Thank you!

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birdlaw117
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Re: Working off the books

Postby birdlaw117 » Thu Jan 06, 2011 2:49 am

ns0291 wrote:I have been working in a small business for about 5 years (since my senior year in high school) and managing the business on a full-time basis for the past two years. The business has flourished under my management so the owners view me in very high regard. One of the partners is more than glad to serve as a reference and is willing to write me a professional letter of recommendation. One problem; I have been working with him off the books (reported no income) the whole time.

Questions:
Will the law schools that I apply to know that I have been working off the books and do they even care?
Will they/can they report me or my boss to the IRS?
How is this information relevant to potential scholarships/grants/financial aid?

Any advice, comments, or suggestion will be greatly appreciated.
Thank you!

So, you're admitting to defrauding the United States of America and want advice from future lawyers as to how you can avoid getting in trouble for this? Haha. Good one.

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BlakcMajikc
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Re: Working off the books

Postby BlakcMajikc » Thu Jan 06, 2011 2:52 am

If you made under the $$ income minimum amount for reporting to the IRS (I believe about $10k for a single independent), you are fine and don't need to worry about it. The fault and troubles, if any, will fall on your employer. A quick double check with the IRS website would clear up that part of the issue for you.

jasonc.
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Re: Working off the books

Postby jasonc. » Thu Jan 06, 2011 2:53 am

That s sounds pretty bad I would list it as an internship.

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birdlaw117
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Re: Working off the books

Postby birdlaw117 » Thu Jan 06, 2011 2:59 am

BlakcMajikc wrote:If you made under the $$ income minimum amount for reporting to the IRS (I believe about $10k for a single independent), you are fine and don't need to worry about it. The fault and troubles, if any, will fall on your employer. A quick double check with the IRS website would clear up that part of the issue for you.

That would be if his income is that low, not making that much from this one employer. Surprisingly, this is actually the instance in which that new, ridiculous Form 1099 aspect of the new healthcare bill is designed to detect. I am guessing that since OP has been working for multiple years he/she has been in the workforce and earning income from some other source during this time. As a result, what OP is doing has not been legal. So, I'm not going to give any advice about how to include this in the application.

Then again, if OP really wants to include it, go for it. I'm sure nobody will do a background check on your employers during C&F and find out you didn't report income to the IRS. Oh, and even if they find out they won't care, because paying taxes is for suckers!

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2Serious4Numbers
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Re: Working off the books

Postby 2Serious4Numbers » Thu Jan 06, 2011 3:05 am

So you are looking for free legal advice from a bunch of 0Ls... Well you've come to the right place my friend!

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BlakcMajikc
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Re: Working off the books

Postby BlakcMajikc » Thu Jan 06, 2011 3:09 am

2Serious4Numbers wrote:So you are looking for free legal advice fro
a bunch of 0Ls... Well you've come to the right place my friend!


If I give my two cents, it's usually research advice, not legal advice. For starters on this one, look up part of the answer about filing taxes. The IRS has a FAQ... give it a shot. It may be cut and dry.

jasonc.
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Re: Working off the books

Postby jasonc. » Thu Jan 06, 2011 3:12 am

Wasn't he a manger why would he make less than 10k?

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birdlaw117
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Re: Working off the books

Postby birdlaw117 » Thu Jan 06, 2011 3:13 am

BlakcMajikc wrote:
2Serious4Numbers wrote:So you are looking for free legal advice fro
a bunch of 0Ls... Well you've come to the right place my friend!


If I give my two cents, it's usually research advice, not legal advice. For starters on this one, look up part of the answer about filing taxes. The IRS has a FAQ... give it a shot. It may be cut and dry.

Yeah, it is cut and dry. You earn income, you report it on your Form 1040. What you don't do is work off the books so that you can steal money from every citizen of the United States.

ns0291
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Re: Working off the books

Postby ns0291 » Thu Jan 06, 2011 3:21 am

@birdlaw117- FYI I am a student, married with one child. I earn about $20k/year. For people in my situation, only income above $22,200 is taxable. So, I'm not worried about tax evasion s. The only thing is my employer pays me off the books to save himself the Workers Compensation fees and other taxes. So stop making unwarranted assumptions and I'm not asking for legal advice jerk. I like my job and I don't want to get my employer into any trouble. All I want to know his how deep law school admissions and financial aid offices delve into these matters.

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BlakcMajikc
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Re: Working off the books

Postby BlakcMajikc » Thu Jan 06, 2011 3:23 am

jasonc. wrote:Wasn't he a manger why would he make less than 10k?


For when he worked full-time, I hope he didn't. But for the years that he worked part time (senior year of high school and afterwards), he could be ok with the IRS and legal.

If he has never filed taxes, he can check the IRS to see if he can file now for that unreported income. If he has, then he can see if he can file an adjustment.

For what I have used it for, the FAQ is pretty straightforward, and we aren't given all the info on his situation here. If the info on irs.gov doesn't answer his questions, then an attorney would definitely be in order. Law school, the bar, and the IRS sound like a bad mixture...

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birdlaw117
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Re: Working off the books

Postby birdlaw117 » Thu Jan 06, 2011 3:24 am

ns0291 wrote:@birdlaw117- FYI I am a student, married with one child. I earn about $20k/year. For people in my situation, only income above $22,200 is taxable. So, I'm not worried about tax evasion s. The only thing is my employer pays me off the books to save himself the Workers Compensation fees and other taxes. So stop making unwarranted assumptions and I'm not asking for legal advice jerk. I like my job and I don't want to get my employer into any trouble. All I want to know his how deep law school admissions and financial aid offices delve into these matters.

You're still knowingly helping someone evade taxes. So you're still aiding in the theft of money. I'm not seeing much of a difference. Sorry, you're in the morally wrong here.

ns0291 wrote:

Will they/can they report me or my boss to the IRS?

Any advice, comments, or suggestion will be greatly appreciated.
Thank you!

Oh, and you were asking for legal advice.

ns0291
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Re: Working off the books

Postby ns0291 » Thu Jan 06, 2011 3:28 am

birdlaw117 wrote:
ns0291 wrote:@birdlaw117- FYI I am a student, married with one child. I earn about $20k/year. For people in my situation, only income above $22,200 is taxable. So, I'm not worried about tax evasion s. The only thing is my employer pays me off the books to save himself the Workers Compensation fees and other taxes. So stop making unwarranted assumptions and I'm not asking for legal advice jerk. I like my job and I don't want to get my employer into any trouble. All I want to know his how deep law school admissions and financial aid offices delve into these matters.

You're still knowingly helping someone evade taxes. So you're still aiding in the theft of money. I'm not seeing much of a difference. Sorry, you're in the morally wrong here.

ns0291 wrote:

Will they/can they report me or my boss to the IRS?

Any advice, comments, or suggestion will be greatly appreciated.
Thank you!

Oh, and you were asking for legal advice.


Advice about the law school application process, not the law of out great country. And how am I aiding him when I have no control over his taxes and or accounting practices. I just do my job and collect my paycheck.

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Pleasye
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Re: Working off the books

Postby Pleasye » Thu Jan 06, 2011 3:31 am

birdlaw117 wrote:You're still knowingly helping someone evade taxes. So you're still aiding in the theft of money. I'm not seeing much of a difference. Sorry, you're in the morally wrong here.

Oh good, the moral police are here :roll:

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birdlaw117
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Re: Working off the books

Postby birdlaw117 » Thu Jan 06, 2011 3:32 am

ns0291 wrote:
birdlaw117 wrote:
ns0291 wrote:@birdlaw117- FYI I am a student, married with one child. I earn about $20k/year. For people in my situation, only income above $22,200 is taxable. So, I'm not worried about tax evasion s. The only thing is my employer pays me off the books to save himself the Workers Compensation fees and other taxes. So stop making unwarranted assumptions and I'm not asking for legal advice jerk. I like my job and I don't want to get my employer into any trouble. All I want to know his how deep law school admissions and financial aid offices delve into these matters.

You're still knowingly helping someone evade taxes. So you're still aiding in the theft of money. I'm not seeing much of a difference. Sorry, you're in the morally wrong here.

ns0291 wrote:

Will they/can they report me or my boss to the IRS?

Any advice, comments, or suggestion will be greatly appreciated.
Thank you!

Oh, and you were asking for legal advice.


Advice about the law school application process, not the law of out great country. And how am I aiding him when I have no control over his taxes and or accounting practices. I just do my job and collect my paycheck.

If you report your income, which you should because if what you're saying is accurate (not sure at this point) you could potentially be entitled to a refund, they would discover your employer's tax evasion. Oh, and even though you don't have to pay income tax on your wages, you still have to pay FICA, etc. Which means that since it isn't being taken straight from your paycheck (I'm assuming again), you would owe that.

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birdlaw117
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Re: Working off the books

Postby birdlaw117 » Thu Jan 06, 2011 3:33 am

LSpleaseee wrote:
birdlaw117 wrote:You're still knowingly helping someone evade taxes. So you're still aiding in the theft of money. I'm not seeing much of a difference. Sorry, you're in the morally wrong here.

Oh good, the moral police are here :roll:

I'm sorry I don't condone theft? In a country where funding is one of the biggest current issues, the fact that there is an insane amount of tax money owed and never collected is pretty troubling to me.

ns0291
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Re: Working off the books

Postby ns0291 » Thu Jan 06, 2011 3:34 am

BlakcMajikc wrote:
2Serious4Numbers wrote:So you are looking for free legal advice fro
a bunch of 0Ls... Well you've come to the right place my friend!


If I give my two cents, it's usually research advice, not legal advice. For starters on this one, look up part of the answer about filing taxes. The IRS has a FAQ... give it a shot. It may be cut and dry.


Yeah I am going to start checking that out now. And thanks for your constructive NONLEGAL input and for not being snobby and assuming like birdlaw* here
Last edited by ns0291 on Thu Jan 06, 2011 3:54 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Pleasye
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Re: Working off the books

Postby Pleasye » Thu Jan 06, 2011 3:36 am

birdlaw117 wrote:
LSpleaseee wrote:
birdlaw117 wrote:You're still knowingly helping someone evade taxes. So you're still aiding in the theft of money. I'm not seeing much of a difference. Sorry, you're in the morally wrong here.

Oh good, the moral police are here :roll:

I'm sorry I don't condone theft? In a country where funding is one of the biggest current issues, the fact that there is an insane amount of tax money owed and never collected is pretty troubling to me.

You don't know the whole situation and what you're talking about isn't what the OP was asking. You're not solving this whole countries debt issue by yelling at someone on the internet.

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BlakcMajikc
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Re: Working off the books

Postby BlakcMajikc » Thu Jan 06, 2011 3:40 am

ns0291 wrote:@birdlaw117- FYI I am a student, married with one child. I earn about $20k/year. For people in my situation, only income above $22,200 is taxable. So, I'm not worried about tax evasion s. The only thing is my employer pays me off the books to save himself the Workers Compensation fees and other taxes. So stop making unwarranted assumptions and I'm not asking for legal advice jerk. I like my job and I don't want to get my employer into any trouble. All I want to know his how deep law school admissions and financial aid offices delve into these matters.


Read the IRS FAQ. Seriously, its not too bad, and it is very useful. As long as you follow the tax code, you should be fine, and they break it down pretty easily on the site, and you could call if you really have more questions.

I was in a similar boat but as a single independent making less than 10k. I didn't have to file income taxes, and I could care less about how the government treated the actions of my employer. I am not sure if they were technically paying me under the table or not, but I could care less because I followed the tax code properly.

If you really want to make sure the business doesnt get in trouble, I would consult a lawyer on this one. Actually just a tax accountant maybe. They may even know the answer.

Good luck! Ima squirm my way outta this thread before it gets ugly.
Last edited by BlakcMajikc on Thu Jan 06, 2011 3:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

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birdlaw117
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Re: Working off the books

Postby birdlaw117 » Thu Jan 06, 2011 3:41 am

LSpleaseee wrote:
birdlaw117 wrote:
LSpleaseee wrote:
birdlaw117 wrote:You're still knowingly helping someone evade taxes. So you're still aiding in the theft of money. I'm not seeing much of a difference. Sorry, you're in the morally wrong here.

Oh good, the moral police are here :roll:

I'm sorry I don't condone theft? In a country where funding is one of the biggest current issues, the fact that there is an insane amount of tax money owed and never collected is pretty troubling to me.

You don't know the whole situation and what you're talking about isn't what the OP was asking. You're not solving this whole countries debt issue by yelling at someone on the internet.

OP asked if they could report OP/OP's boss to the IRS. If somebody is worried about being reported to the IRS for something they did, that seems to raise a red flag in my eyes. I'm not seeing why that is unreasonable. Also, my comment regarding C&F (while obviously laced with a lot of sarcasm), was one of the most relevant comments ITT. If OP is concerned about it, it would probably be best to not list this as employment. If these questions arise down the road and they discover OP knowingly avoided paying taxes and helped OP's employer to not pay taxes, then there is a real problem.

ns0291
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Re: Working off the books

Postby ns0291 » Thu Jan 06, 2011 3:54 am

@birdlaw

That's all you needed to say from the start instead of being so pretentious. If you didn't wanna give any advice, stalk another thread.

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birdlaw117
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Re: Working off the books

Postby birdlaw117 » Thu Jan 06, 2011 4:15 am

ns0291 wrote:@birdlaw

That's all you needed to say from the start instead of being so pretentious. If you didn't wanna give any advice, stalk another thread.

Or, if you didn't want that response, have some morals and tell your employer to pay you legitimately. Oh, and I did say that earlier (hence why I referenced my previous post in the prior one).

On a more serious note, if I were you I probably wouldn't worry about it too much. Absolute worst case scenario is somewhere down the line you have to play it off as a mistake (which isn't even lying I don't think). The amount of money and the lack of intent would certainly back you up on that. List out everything on your application. The one thing that seems kind of sketchy to me is whether you put that on your FAFSA or not. I could see it either way. You don't want to be excluding income and receiving aid based on somewhat fraudulent information. But you also don't want to be putting down income that you aren't reporting on a filed tax return (I'm assuming you aren't filing since you aren't paying taxes, though that may not be true). If you are filing and aren't including this income, probably don't include the income on the FAFSA (they say it could trigger some effects, although I doubt it actually would).

Sorry for the rambling. If you seriously do have questions about this, feel free to PM me.

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Drake014
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Re: Working off the books

Postby Drake014 » Thu Jan 06, 2011 4:19 am

ns0291 wrote:I have been working in a small business for about 5 years (since my senior year in high school) and managing the business on a full-time basis for the past two years. The business has flourished under my management so the owners view me in very high regard. One of the partners is more than glad to serve as a reference and is willing to write me a professional letter of recommendation. One problem; I have been working with him off the books (reported no income) the whole time.

Questions:
Will the law schools that I apply to know that I have been working off the books and do they even care?
Will they/can they report me or my boss to the IRS?
How is this information relevant to potential scholarships/grants/financial aid?

Any advice, comments, or suggestion will be greatly appreciated.
Thank you!


I wouldn't worry about this. 0Ls for some reason think that law schools hire a private investigator to find out everything about you. They don't. For the most part, they trust what you submit to them. With or without the current budget cuts, they have neither the resources nor the desire to look into the kind of stuff that you're referring to.

Edit: in regards to financial aid, if this was your sole source of income, then you'd better come up with a better explanation than you worked illegally.

jaestro
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Re: Working off the books

Postby jaestro » Thu Jan 06, 2011 2:34 pm

I carelessly skimmed, so if you did earn less than requirement for reporting income you are fine.
I would not necessarily worry about your prospective university raising red flags, but the ABA committee or whatever it is called that judges your character.
Not paying your taxes is an offense worthy of not getting licensed.
You could call it an internship, and have that understanding with your employer, so nothing would come up. Obviously a prospective lawyer, and attorney would be against this, because it is unethical and against the law.
Honestly, I don't think you should have brought this up. If you have been evading taxes for the last five years, you already committed a crime. Hopefully you posted as a joke or hypothetical, because if your identity gets known you definitely set yourself up.
Anyway, you can fix the last two years, by reporting your income and paying the taxes you will owe. The IRS allows you two years to pay taxes, before you are committing a crime. The fault probably primarily lies with your employer, but ignorance of the law will not save you. Based on reading the E and E's for criminal law, failure to pay taxes is something like a voluntary ommission and very valid for punishment.
Isn't it BS how many future law students are youthful and wreckless, and before you know it, they are adult professionals, and all of their past actions are under scrutiny of the law.

sarahh
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Re: Working off the books

Postby sarahh » Thu Jan 06, 2011 8:25 pm

ns0291 wrote:@birdlaw117- FYI I am a student, married with one child. I earn about $20k/year. For people in my situation, only income above $22,200 is taxable. So, I'm not worried about tax evasion s. The only thing is my employer pays me off the books to save himself the Workers Compensation fees and other taxes. So stop making unwarranted assumptions and I'm not asking for legal advice jerk. I like my job and I don't want to get my employer into any trouble. All I want to know his how deep law school admissions and financial aid offices delve into these matters.


Where are you getting the $22,200 figure from? According to the IRS, if you are married (filing jointly) and under 65 you are required to file if your gross income is at least $18,700. Plus, as someone else pointed out, you are supposed to pay FICA too.




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