Professional advice needed about whistle blowing

I have an appointment with my pastor, but I realize there are many who can also point me in the right direction. A family member has rented a shop at the rear of my property for ten years, but for the last three, has refused to pay rent due to personal indebtedness to others. The kicker is that this person files taxes showing the rent was paid. In addition, workers are paid cash under the table, and many services are performed and paid for under the table. This money is not reported as income.

Would I be an accessory by my silence if I fail to report this to IRS? Is there an obligation to seek justice? I cannot force the rent payment, since I foolishly put the person on my deed, and he refuses to sign the property back to me, though I paid the entire price for it. My attorney says you cannot force rent from a part owner.

i recommend you start praying to god for the holy souls in purgatory and ask him to grant through their prayers and intercessions that these people start to pay you rent

heres a link that may be of use to you

I’m not an American so I can’t speak specifically about the IRS, but it seems to me that not only are you allowing yourself to be victimized by not demanding your due, but you are enabling your relative to sin and break the law.

Talk to your priest, but I think you may also need a lawyer.

Well in my unqualified opinion.

Reporting income to the IRS is an individuals responsibility, so you would not be an accessory to the crime, and have no obligation to report it.

Other than that, I’m not sure what you can do except seek to have this person buy the shop from you.


Thanks everybodyfor your responses! Very much appreciated.

I agree the keyword is ‘enabling.’ He has been enabled for years by other family members who just let it go, to the point that he never feels obligated to pay his bills and gets a free ride continuously.

I just learned that he has a judgment from a credit card company of $18,500 that is now attached to my house because he is part-owner. Anything he holds title to, including my home, cannot be sold until the debt is paid, even though it is not my debt.

I agree, the under-table income cannot be substantiated and is his responsibility, but I can verify that he never paid the rent he has claimed as a deduction on his tax forms.

This may be the only opportunity to wake him up by taking the proper action to stop the defrauding. The debts filed by creditors have no opportunity of being paid unless the property is sold, so they are stone out of luck, and the courts do not prosecute, other than simply to file a judgment. So the enabling continues. So I ask myself, should I just wipe my hands as well, and let the vengence be up to God? Or is God calling me to cooperate with Him in the manner of justly blowing a whistle.

Evict your family member for nonpayment.

No good deed is every left gone unpunished :smiley:

My attorney said I cannot do this since the deed shows him as part owner. You cannot evict an owner. I’m really up a creek here, and he knows it, taking full advantage.

Is he a co owner of your building AND your business?

Even if he is only a co owner of your building DO NOT report him to the IRS.

His back taxes will require payment and the US government will go so far as to beat the money owed to them by fining you (because you co own the building).

You will need to buy out his part ownership of your building (deducting out his non payment of rent).

you need a lawyer versed in business law, real estate law and tax law, because you can get in serious trouble with the IRS with the situation as it is

Imagine your relationship once they find out you told the irs. burn bridges much? It’s not your responsibility to turn in your family in to the irs. If the irs asks you questions, you’ll have to answer truthfully.

It seems to me you’re angry and frustrated and looking for a way out. this isn’t it. maybe taking them to small claims court for their share of the mortgage.

Get a lawyer right away. If he squats on the land that long, he’ll own it outright I believe in some states.

His back taxes will require payment and the US government will go so far as to beat the money owed to them by fining you (because you co own the building).

Oh my, I never thought of that, Barb! Thanks a bunch!

You will need to buy out his part ownership of your building (deducting out his non payment of rent).

What is so sad is that I own it all, and I paid for it all as a courtesy to this family member to start his own business. So much for gratitude. I realized a few years later how foolish it was to put his name in joint on my deed, thinking that when I died, he would avoid probate and just acquire the whole property.

The only legal option my attorney offered as a solution, since he won’t sign my property back to me, was to have the court force a sale of the property, which would be quite expensive - plus, I don’t want to move!

I think my lawyer is limited, so maybe that’s the best thing, to find one versed in all these aspects of law.

Yes, I thought about that, too. I am the only one who knows he does not pay rent and deducted it from taxes. My daughter knows he does’t pay rent, but not about the taxes.

No, I’m not angry, but my daughter is, and she’s getting angry with me because I haven’t acted upon this, so she’s taking it into her own hands. That’s scary, because the scriptures teach, “be angry and sin not.” I need to consider the possibility of her falling into sin on account of this family member.

I want only to act in a way that will help him see the wrong of his ways and change them, whatever that may be. Sometimes parents need to exercise tough love. I haven’t found anything yet that speaks to me. My faith is strong that when the moment is right, God will open a door to let me know His will.

I don’t suppose you have anything in writing from him indicating payments to you- whether it’s termed as rent or payment towards the property?

If you have something in writing, you could agree to forgive the debt in exchange for him signing over the property to you.

Also, what would he do if you forced the sale? Would he want to move? Just trying to think of some kind of inducement or leverage you would have to get him to sign over his interest. Your story reminds me why there are so many proverbs about not signing surety for your neighbor.

Good luck

The mortgage was solely in my name, but I requested that the bank put both names on the deed. I never had a lease or rent agreement with him, nothing in writing. However, he used to pay by check, and the exact annual amount was always deducted on his taxes as rent. I could prove by the tax form that it was rent, not payment toward the property, and he was never signed onto the mortgage. I paid all taxes and insurance for these ten years. He paid nothing for the last three years, other than cash for half of the electric bill — only because I could shut him down because the power to his shop is controlled inside my breaker box. :stuck_out_tongue:

If you have something in writing, you could agree to forgive the debt in exchange for him signing over the property to you.

Well, since he is in debt $18,500, maybe that’s a solution to ponder.

You folks are so kind to help me. I think some of this really enables me to sort out my foggy thinking. My brain is just about fried trying to resolve it. Most of the time I just ignore it and go about my business - till my daughter got on my case.

Offer to sell your part of the building to him. When he can’t buy it (which he won’t be able to), then you tell him that you’re selling it. Sell it, move on and never help him again! :smiley:

:thumbsup: Sounds like a good proposition!

You should get a good lawyer. If something is jointly owned. as far as I know, all owners have to agree to sell before it can be sold. Definitely don’t make a move without checking with a lawyer first.
I wonder if you could simply cut off power (or other utilities) to force him to treat you rightly. But you would have to ask a lawyer about this too.

That’s true, mdgspencer, which is why my lawyer said I would have to go to court and obtain an order to force the sale. He said it is an expensive ordeal. (So how much money does “expensive” mean?) So far, I really don’t want to move. My appointment with the pastor is Monday morning, and I hope he has some advice about the whole matter. Do I kick a dog when he’s down? Or do I allow him to undergo the consequences of his actions, so that he may fully realize his wrong, which may be impossible to understand in any other way … tough love, IOW.

The problem is that for many years, other family members have ‘enabled’ the behavior to continue, because each of them turned the other cheek.

You may find me an oddball here, but when he quit paying rent, saying he couldn’t afford it, I gave him a gift check for $3,500, as I listened prayerfully to the scripture about turning the other cheek, and loving my enemy, doing good to those who persecute me, etc. It was very shortlived, and did not “heap live coals upon his head.” Another bad idea. :frowning:


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