I am scrupulous and I have OCD, so I can’t always judge how serious something is. We sent our 19-year-old son’s taxes to be done by a CPA. I asked my son to tell me how much interest he made from his savings account (more than once I asked). He refused to tell me, so I just gave the CPA all his other info. It couldn’t have been much interest–I know it was way less than the $10 that the banks are required to report to the IRS. Still, we are required to report any interest. Now the taxes are done and all my son has to do is sign. But I know that signing a false tax document is perjury, which is a mortal sin. Should I tell my son this (he is not a practicing Catholic) or should I refrain from loading that guilt on him? Am I culpable for going along with this? We are paying the CPA to do his taxes (and ours). Help is much appreciated in discerning what to do.
I’m pretty sure I have already mentioned to my son that lying on your taxes is a serious sin. Still he chose not to give me the interest info.
Let him do his own taxes next time.
Because you suffer scrupulosity and OCD, any advice on morality here is worthless to you. There is only one authority you should be asking, and that is your confessor.
On the matter of the taxes if he refuses to cooperate with you, then are you doing the asking, and not the CPA? If he’s old enough to pay taxes, he’s old enough to deal with the CPA. Let the onus be on the CPA to get that information out of him. I’m pretty sure when faced with the threat of the CPA withdrawing his services and him risking failing to meet the deadline, he’ll probably cooperate.
Did you tell the CPA that your son is missing potentially material information? If not, why did you not do so? April 30th is still a month away, so you have time. The CPA would probably appreciate the opportunity to make the judgment whether or not to get that information if it is indeed material to the tax return, since it’s also his neck on the line.
I just asked my son again and he says he doesn’t have a savings account–only a checking account, which gives no interest. I’m pretty sure he did have a savings account at one time but he says he didn’t have it in 2012. Too bad he didn’t tell me that in the first place instead of insisting he wasn’t going to reveal how much interest he had–making it look to me like he had something to hide. He could have done the taxes himself, but he ASKED if I would take them to the CPA. He’s an adult–I can’t look at his bank account without his permission, so I’m going to have to take his word for it. He knows that signing a false tax return is serious–if he’s not being honest, then it’s HIS sin. I really don’t think I’m responsible for anything else.
My :twocents: He’s an adult and should be handling all this himself, including taking his information to the accountant. You should back out completely from this and all his financial affairs. Dishonesty, if any, on his part is his problem.
If this is a concern for you, then you will have to learn to say no, and simply say, son meet CPA. CPA, meet son. Then let them handle it. I don’t see why you have to get involved even if asked, especially since you have this condition.
As for the morality of it all, ask your confessor.