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What do I do about my significant other's friend who takes cash under the table and pays no taxes, but calls us "suckers" that do pay them?
August 9, 2012 8:37 AM   Subscribe

One of my significant other's friend runs a business that takes "cash under the table" and brags about his nice new toys, and teases us about what suckers we are that we have to pay taxes. This infuriates me. What do I do?

My SO has a friend that runs a business out of his garage and takes cash only so he doesn't have to pay taxes. He is constantly throwing it in our faces that we can't afford the nice things he has because we are suckers that have to pay taxes. He works at his primary job that does take taxes out of his paycheck, but everything he makes on his side job goes for his new truck, boat, and nice vacations. I have to work my tail off for what I do have and it's discouraging to look at my check after all of the taxes come out. I do realize some of it has to do with jealousy on my part because I don't have all of those brand new extras he has, but this "sucker" at least lives honestly and pays her taxes. I have thought about turning him into the IRS, but I don't know how to go about doing this, and I also have guilt about being a "narc" and karma will come back to bite me. In the mean time, this eats away at me. What do I do?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (76 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
Can't help you with your guilt, but this is the process for reporting someone to the IRS (can be done anonymously). As you might expect of the IRS, they have a form for it.
posted by Partial Law at 8:40 AM on August 9, 2012 [15 favorites]


Would you feel guilt about turning in somebody you saw stealing a laptop from a computer store? Because that's who this guy is. I'd be more worried about your karma if you didn't turn him in.
posted by escabeche at 8:41 AM on August 9, 2012 [17 favorites]


Ignore him. Karma has a way of dealing with assholes who brag about their crimes. This isn't some tax avoidance mastermind. It's someone the IRS will likely find sooner rather than later.
posted by MuffinMan at 8:42 AM on August 9, 2012 [17 favorites]


There's a bounty program for people who report tax cheats to the IRS. You get part of whatever the IRS recovers. You can find all of the information you need to make a report on that page.

Then he'd be the sort of sucker who cheats on his taxes, and you'd be the sort of fine citizen who gets a reward for turning in law-breakers.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:42 AM on August 9, 2012 [69 favorites]


If he's not paying taxes he's also not taking business exemptions and might actually be losing money. Ignore him.
posted by the young rope-rider at 8:42 AM on August 9, 2012 [20 favorites]


Would it make a difference if he were robbing liquor stores to pay for toys? It's not quite as dramatic at tax evasion but both are illegal.

Find new friends. This guy's bullshit behavior is poisoning you slowly.
posted by jquinby at 8:42 AM on August 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


This may sound overly simplistic, but why are you still hanging out with him? He doesn't sound like someone you want to be friends with. If it were me, I find a way to just start drifting away from him - be busy when he calls, etc. You don't need toxic people in your life.
posted by slmorri at 8:42 AM on August 9, 2012 [21 favorites]


Either turn him in or let it go. Sitting around and stewing about it doesn't do anyone any good.
posted by frizz at 8:43 AM on August 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


My parents were close with someone like this from the time they were married, 30+ years ago, when they were both basically broke. They have found a lot of satisfaction in the fact that their wealth and security have steadily increased over the years to the point where they are both quite comfortable and that person is right where he was 30 years ago: still on very thin ice in many, many ways.
posted by juliplease at 8:43 AM on August 9, 2012 [9 favorites]


He is stealing from you. He's also stealing from me. It's only a tiny bit from each of us, but he's stealing.

Also, it sounds like he's a loudmouth who tells plenty of people about this. If so, it's unlikely that he'd know you did it, if that's a concern.
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 8:43 AM on August 9, 2012 [5 favorites]


Also, it seems that the primary reason he has more money than you is not so much the taxes as the fact that he literally works a second job. Nothing is stopping you from doing the same thing.
posted by the young rope-rider at 8:43 AM on August 9, 2012 [28 favorites]


If you don't want to actually harm this person (being your SO's friend and all), one possibility is anonymously emailing him the link to the How Do You Report Suspected Fraud Activity? IRS article. Just the link, nothing else. It's a sure bet he's bragging about this to other people, so he wouldn't know who did it, and it would definitely shut him the hell up.
posted by El Sabor Asiatico at 8:45 AM on August 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


Relevant question: how does your SO feel? If he or she thinks the tax-evader is an awesome dude and is very close with him, you'd pay a relationship price for turning him in, and maybe it's better to let somebody else do the work. If your SO also thinks this guy is a jerk, then fill out the form and let justice be served.
posted by escabeche at 8:45 AM on August 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


If he is as stupid about what he's doing as he seems to be, you don't have to worry about turning him in. Finding people like him is what the IRS does all day long. If they haven't caught him at it yet it is likely because they just want him to dig the hole even deeper.
posted by elizardbits at 8:45 AM on August 9, 2012


If you think your SO would be angry at you for turning him in, try this --

Get a mini tape recorder and just have it with you. Then the next time this guy is mouthing off, take it out and put it on the table, saying "Sorry, I didn't catch that, say that again?" when pressed about why you have it, just say it's not important and ask him to repeat himself.

You haven't actually claimed to be recording anything, or made any claim about what to do with it. But people tend to shut up when they think they're being recorded.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:46 AM on August 9, 2012


If it bothers you that much, report him, tell him you reported him, and you'll never need to hear about it again.
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 8:46 AM on August 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Otherwise you could gaslight him a little with fake surveillance vans and deliberate beeping sounds whenever you guys are on the phone.
posted by elizardbits at 8:48 AM on August 9, 2012 [6 favorites]


There is nothing to feel guilty about. He isn't a honest person. He is not a good friend. He's actually gloating that he gets to live it up better than you do, because he's shirking his tax duty? What the hell. He's a jerk for bragging that his life is so awesome, and for dragging you into this dilemma by telling you that he's breaking the law. I'd turn him in with gusto.
posted by Coatlicue at 8:49 AM on August 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Considering the "extras," he'd be making 25%-30% less than he does now if he paid taxes, based on small business exemptions and so on. He works two jobs, you work one, this is why he has all these things, not because he's not paying taxes.

He still sounds like an asshole, but this isn't the crime of the century here. I've worked for small businesses almost my entire working life and there's enough tax-dodging going on there -- both in the "not paying" sense and in the "really, really good accountant" sense -- that this is small potatoes. You should examine why you're so bent out of shape about it.
posted by griphus at 8:51 AM on August 9, 2012 [27 favorites]


"I think you're a jerk for not paying your fair share, and when you repeatedly call me a sucker for doing what is right it makes me wonder what else you think I'm a sucker about. It makes it hard for me to trust you to split the check fairly, for example."
posted by gauche at 8:51 AM on August 9, 2012 [16 favorites]


The bragging and jerky behavior would bother me more than the taxes. Turn him in or turn him loose, but either way stop hanging out with him.
posted by Forktine at 8:53 AM on August 9, 2012 [13 favorites]


Yeah. Tax fraud is one thing, but being a dick about it is another.

You could always point out that he's gonna have a great time paying off penalties and then trading for cigarettes instead of dollars when he's in the pokey.
posted by rmd1023 at 8:55 AM on August 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


This is not your friend. This is a jerk.

Stop hanging out with this tool.
posted by 26.2 at 8:55 AM on August 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


Get a mini tape recorder and just have it with you. Then the next time this guy is mouthing off, take it out and put it on the table, saying "Sorry, I didn't catch that, say that again?" when pressed about why you have it, just say it's not important and ask him to repeat himself.

Please don't do this. You will end up taking the blame if he gets audited even if you had nothing to do with it.
posted by ODiV at 8:58 AM on August 9, 2012 [21 favorites]


Tell him to shut up about it.
posted by demiurge at 9:01 AM on August 9, 2012 [4 favorites]


Even if you were extremely well-off and had all of the fancy toys he did, would his not paying taxes still piss you off?

I would turn him in using the IRS form linked above. You can stay anonymous or you can do what Eyebrows McGee suggests and maybe get a kickback.

Unless he's living an incredibly unusual life, he uses things every day that are paid for by taxes. Paid for by taxes that he's not paying. He's cheating the system. AND he's an asshat about it. He's a cheater and an asshat. Report him.
posted by phunniemee at 9:02 AM on August 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


Taxes are the price of admission to civilized society. There is no need to feel 'discouraged' for paying your taxes.

I wouldn't turn him in, but that's just me and my contempt for squealers. Karma will take care of this guy, without intervention from you, don't you worry. Friend of the family was doing more or less the same thing as this yobo, and he's always on the move, from one shifty job to another. The result is that he's essentially been on the run for thirty years, and stateless, and can't visit his friends and family anymore. Real winner in life, right?

I would stop hanging out with this doofus. If you can't do that directly, you can make it so that he doesn't want to be around anymore. Ask him how he likes using the roads you all paid for, or the navigation lights that you all paid for. Call him a free-loader and a parasite -- because that's what he is.

You may be a 'sucker', but you're not a thief.
posted by Capt. Renault at 9:07 AM on August 9, 2012 [7 favorites]


If he's dumb enough to be spending the cash on conspicuous consumption, he is so so so so so dumb enough to get caught. He's leaving trails all over the place to show that his spending doesn't match his stated income, and that's how they catch idiots like him.
posted by L'Estrange Fruit at 9:08 AM on August 9, 2012 [5 favorites]


I bet this guy also uses the right-turn lane to sneak ahead of the "suckers" in traffic and thinks he's a genius for figuring that out. If the tax thing doesn't catch up to him eventually, something else will.
posted by theodolite at 9:09 AM on August 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Tell him about the bounty program mentioned above. Tell him you'd be doing your duty as an American to report a tax-cheat. (Er, assuming everyone's American, as we are wont to do.)

If he gets upset at this move, point out to him that lording his second income over you and calling you suckers is the dick move that inspired it. Either way, the reporting threat should shut him up.
posted by Sunburnt at 9:10 AM on August 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


He's leaving trails all over the place to show that his spending doesn't match his stated income, and that's how they catch idiots like him.

Seriously this is the most offensive thing about this situation. This dude is so stupid that it is offensive that he hasn't been caught yet. All the internets resources available to him and he still can't figure out how to launder money. Ugh.
posted by elizardbits at 9:12 AM on August 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


Turn him in. His primary offense is that he's a dick. How often do you get to make a true asshole pay for being an asshole?
posted by cellphone at 9:12 AM on August 9, 2012 [9 favorites]


Oh, keep in mind that if you do report him and he does get busted, everything he has on everyone will spill forth from him like a river in his attempt to get a reduced fine or penalty or whatever. So if he knows about anything illegal that S.O., you, or anyone else you know have done, that's going to come right out in the open.
posted by griphus at 9:13 AM on August 9, 2012 [6 favorites]


Yeah if you're going to report him, which I don't think you ought to, DON'T TELL HIM you're going to report him. That is stupid. Do you want someone who you think has poor ethical sense to have an ongoing resentment for you? No.

If you're going to report him, do it and shut up about the topic and never mention it around him ever.

Seriously, people have been murdered for less.
posted by the young rope-rider at 9:16 AM on August 9, 2012 [14 favorites]


Your SO has shitty taste in friends. How do you feel about that?

As for this guy, if you don't have to spend time with him, don't. Let your SO go over to visit with him and take the ribbing about being a sucker.

Just remember, most of the toys can be attributed to his working a side job, not avoiding taxes on that income. Sure, if he paid taxes, he'd only have one motor-cycle not two, but he'd still have more stuff than you had.

Yeah, he's an ass. But if he got his act together and got a good accountant, he probably would have the same shit he has now, so it's not worth it to get all bent out of shape about.

If more toys and stuff were important to you, you'd work a side job. They're not and you don't.

Whether or not you report him to the IRS, that's on you. Personally, I'd let the feds do their job, and not turn him in. Exactly how much tax evasion are we talking about here? The taxes on $5,000?
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 9:21 AM on August 9, 2012


Jesus, probably 90% of all cash businesses underpay their taxes. Are you going to go all vigilante and become a tax investigator?

I say mind your own business here.
posted by eas98 at 9:23 AM on August 9, 2012 [12 favorites]


Also, have you ever bought something online and not paid the sales tax in your state? If so, you are probably much like this guy.
posted by eas98 at 9:24 AM on August 9, 2012 [5 favorites]


Whether or not you report him to the IRS, that's on you. Personally, I'd let the feds do their job, and not turn him in.

Could say the same about reporting a robbery, right?

Turn this guy in. Let the IRS determine if he's worth their time or not.
posted by toomuchpete at 9:26 AM on August 9, 2012 [5 favorites]


Would you feel guilt about turning in somebody you saw stealing a laptop from a computer store? Because that's who this guy is.

Wow. That is absolutely not who this guy is. While it's a terrible thing that the government will have to invent slightly more money out of thin air to pay for that bolt on a new stealth bomber, that is not your business.

He'd be a jerk if he were bragging about his new possessions even if he paid taxes on every last dime he earned. I'd avoid him for that.
posted by the jam at 9:28 AM on August 9, 2012 [5 favorites]


Also, in terms of taxes, I have a family member who has a small in-home business. Most years they have zero tax liability, some years they actually reduce the household tax liability. Like I said, this guy is more dumb than some sort of mastermind tax evader, if that helps with your resentment.
posted by the young rope-rider at 9:28 AM on August 9, 2012 [6 favorites]


You should feel guilty for NOT reporting this utter swine in to the IRS and your state's tax agency, and I'll tell you why:

I, too, run a side-business out of my house. I know a lot of people who do. I (and most of the folks with side-businesses) pay my taxes religiously. Sales tax, income tax, employement tax for my employees. Because it's the right thing to do, and because I'd really rather not worry about the consequences of the contrary choice.

Now these taxes are expensive to pay, and difficult and expensive to track and ensure I'm paying correctly. I pay a service about $600/year to handle the payroll taxes, and I pay a retired IRS auditor another $500 to file my annual income tax (including the corporate tax return for my side-biz corp.) That's over a grand, annually, I pay, just to make sure that I'm paying taxes correctly. Before I even start paying taxes.

And now I hear about this rancid pile of stunted genitalia, who is not only NOT doing any of the above correct and necessary and difficult things, but is calling you and ME suckers for doing it right? Waving his stolen cash in your faces? Ohh, you SO have to turn him in. It's towering assholes like this one that make it hard for your area's schools to buy books, AND make it hard for upright businesses to make it in your town.

Totally, totally, turn him in. I hereby absolve you of guilt. You're not being a rat, you're being an upright citizen. The sucker move is not that you are paying taxes, but that you are tolerating a stinking thief and cheat in your midst. Don't be a sucker. Turn him in.
posted by BigLankyBastard at 9:29 AM on August 9, 2012 [22 favorites]


Jesus, probably 90% of all cash businesses underpay their taxes. Are you going to go all vigilante and become a tax investigator?

Reporting an admitted crime to the authorities is kind of the opposite of being a vigilante.

Please report this guy.
posted by grouse at 9:41 AM on August 9, 2012 [12 favorites]


Yeah, you know what? If you don't want to have your hands in this but still want to do the right thing, memail me his information and I'll submit the form.

This business about "let the feds do their job" and "karma will get him" and "don't be mad at him, be mad at the big companies who get away with much worse" is such bull. If everyone who noticed that someone was doing something like this actually called them on their shit and got it rectified, there wouldn't be such a big dumbfucking mess of the system.

People (little people, big people, little companies, big companies) get away with fucking honest folks over because there have been a whole slew of people all the way down the line who have shrugged and said, "I don't like it, but he'll get his comeuppance one of these days." (In the case of large companies and corporate fraud, sure--you hear stories all the time about some white collar dude who stole billions going to jail, but that's not until after they've fucked over thousands and thousands of smaller people and smaller businesses.)

Ugh, I hate this shit. Do the right thing here.
posted by phunniemee at 9:46 AM on August 9, 2012 [19 favorites]


As others have said, dollars to doughnuts he'd end up paying a tax preparer $500 and the feds about 5% if he was 100% legal. I wouldn't bother turning him in. His goodies are due to his second job, not skimming on taxes.

However, I would give him the speech that gauche posted above. The problem isn't the tax fraud; the problem is that he's a douche.

Also, my completely off the wall guess is that he's bragging because he feels anxious about the whole thing and is hoping that by repeating something, it will make it true (that is, his pride in getting away with something.)
posted by small_ruminant at 9:51 AM on August 9, 2012 [7 favorites]


Whenever he says "sucker", you say "thief" right back.

Intersperse it with "common criminal", "parasite" and similar things that rip the wind out of his boasts.

Keep it friendly if you can.
posted by -harlequin- at 10:31 AM on August 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


This business about "let the feds do their job" and "karma will get him" and "don't be mad at him, be mad at the big companies who get away with much worse" is such bull.

This. The feds can do their job when they know there is a tax cheat. How do they know it? Because people brag about avoiding taxes and then someone turns them in. That's where you come in. That's how karma gets him.

And be mad at the big companies too. I mean, why should he get off just because he's got company?


This isn't the crime of the century here

True. And he won't be penalized as it if were. Punishments are typically proportional to the crimes, so let the feds do their job and mete out the appropriate punishment.


Also, have you ever bought something online and not paid the sales tax in your state? If so, you are probably much like this guy.

Um, this is legal. Running an all-cash business to avoid taxes is illegal. Kind of not the same. At all.


Yeah if you're going to report him, which I don't think you ought to, DON'T TELL HIM you're going to report him. That is stupid. Do you want someone who you think has poor ethical sense to have an ongoing resentment for you? No.

If you're going to report him, do it and shut up about the topic and never mention it around him ever.


This too. Just fill out the online form, and go back to your life.
posted by Capri at 10:31 AM on August 9, 2012 [7 favorites]


As a few others have said, the taxes really aren't the issue here--at least, for you. Even if he paid all his taxes he'd be earning a lot more than you because he works two jobs. And he'd still be a jerk if he kept going on and on about how he earns so much more than you. Still, if you want to keep up with the Joneses, start working a second job. If you don't want to hang out with a jerk who keeps bragging about how much more money he earns than you do, stop hanging out with the jerk.
posted by yoink at 10:33 AM on August 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


Well, if Tax-Evader is making $50k/yr at his day job and his side business brings in another $10k of profit and he were to become a sole proprietor, he'd pay full taxes on the additional $10k. It would be as if he'd be making $60k a year since for sole props, the income just goes straight to the person. So Tax-Evader is coming out ahead to the tune of $3k/yr or so.

I'd report on that alone if you think it's very easy to prove since he left a paper trail.

But think of it this way. He's not incorporate therefore all liability is personal. All he needs is someone to get hurt as a result of the work he does and he will be sued personally. Not the company he never bothered incorporating and pays insurance premiums for which will either (a) cover the legal expenses and settlement and let him bounce back with higher rates to pay or (b) drive the company into bankruptcy after which the company's assets will be lost but personal assets preserved.

If you want to mess with Tax-Evader, refer someone to him. Then call the next day and say he was driving down the highway and the wheel fell of (or some other plausible story dependent on the work he did) and your buddy got into an accident and is now a vegetable in the hospital. You found out because his wife called asking for Tax-Evader's address because she's suing for the medical bills and lost work and a million other things because she thinks Tax-Evader did faulty work. Tell him you're just giving him a heads up because you know that this will be a huge legal expense for him since he didn't incorporate or get insurance for his business and wanted to give him as much as as possible to prepare and find a cheap lawyer who might be able to do some sort of legal miracle work.

Then ask if later on you guys can hang out on his boat since you've got the evening free.

Or, you could wait for him to do work that actually does hurt someone and then someone will actually be hurt with no big fat insurance settlement to fall back on while Tax-Evader loses his truck/boat/house/shirt.

(I say this as someone who runs a side business that profits a few thousand dollars a year but keeps it all legit.)

You could also ask him "why aren't you a patriot, don't you love your country, your state, your county?"
posted by Brian Puccio at 10:34 AM on August 9, 2012


and his side business brings in another $10k of profit and he were to become a sole proprietor, he'd pay full taxes on the additional $10k.

Only if he's got a crappy tax preparer. If he were legit he'd be able to write off his garage and all sorts of stuff.
posted by small_ruminant at 10:40 AM on August 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


The next time he starts bragging about his boat or vacations and calling you a sucker, you could say something like, "You know what, you've told me about this already. Can we change the subject?"or "I'm not really interested in counting other people's money. Anyway, did you hear about [XYZ]?"

He sounds like an immature douche who is making major mistakes that will catch up with him.
posted by inertia at 10:41 AM on August 9, 2012


Another thing to consider, operating a commercial garage out of one's residence may also be an EPA (where is he putting all that oil?) and/or zoning violation. That could get expensive should alerting the tax authorities not be fun enough.
and his side business brings in another $10k of profit and he were to become a sole proprietor, he'd pay full taxes on the additional $10k.
Only if he's got a crappy tax preparer. If he were legit he'd be able to write off his garage and all sorts of stuff.
Of course by profit, I mean income minus expenses, so yes, I'm talking about $10k after you're done doing things like writing off expenses, etc.
posted by Brian Puccio at 10:47 AM on August 9, 2012


Does anyone work for your friend, at this side job? If so, I assume that they get paid in cash, and are happy to not have to pay any income taxes or other taxes.

However, some years down the road, what if these "employees" discover that they aren't going to get much by way of Social Security? This is because their income was underreported. Then, if karma works right, your friend's friend is going to be subject to a lawsuit for those missing Social Security payments.

And that would be so sad.
posted by Midnight Skulker at 10:53 AM on August 9, 2012


Just file the IRS forms, and forget about it.

Maybe they'll pursue it, maybe they won't, but it'd be nice of you to give them the opportunity. I don't enjoy paying his share.
posted by grudgebgon at 11:03 AM on August 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Either report him or tell him every goddamned time he brags about cheating on his taxes that that is a great way to get someone to report him.
posted by Sidhedevil at 11:05 AM on August 9, 2012


Please explain to him that it is a felony:

26 U.S.C. ยง 7201. Attempt to evade or defeat tax
Any person who willfully attempts in any manner to evade or defeat any tax imposed by this title or the payment thereof shall, in addition to other penalties provided by law, be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than $100,000 ($500,000 in the case of a corporation), or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both, together with the costs of prosecution.


That's five years for every year, BTW. He would get hammered. All those toys would get sold.
posted by Ironmouth at 11:16 AM on August 9, 2012


This business about "let the feds do their job" and "karma will get him" and "don't be mad at him, be mad at the big companies who get away with much worse" is such bull.

Seriously. I don't believe in it myself, but you can think of it this way: you are his karma. Not only is he breaking the law, he's bragging about it. This is what some people call tempting fate.

It's sort of like that joke where the flood victim waves off the rescue boat and the helicopter because "God will provide" and after he drowns and angrily reproaches God for not saving him, God replies, "I sent you a boat and a helicopter, jackass." Don't frame yourself out of an obvious action just because you can appeal to some undefined authority.
posted by psoas at 11:21 AM on August 9, 2012 [5 favorites]


I highly doubt the IRS will do anything in this situation. It's such a trivial amount to them. Mind your own business. Bringing him down will not improve your life. Taking pleasure in someone else's misery who has been a jerk to you is wrong (even if it would feel good). The best revenge is living well.
posted by banished at 11:25 AM on August 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


- I would stop spending time with this person. They're a jerk.
- I would absolutely drop an anonymous dime on him
posted by DWRoelands at 11:30 AM on August 9, 2012


I would just like to point out that you don't actually know that he's done anything wrong. Sure, he talks like a bigshot and he gets your goat, but he might just be bullshitting.
posted by facetious at 11:38 AM on August 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


The best revenge is living well.

That's what they say, but you don't see it turning up in a lot of, say, opera plots. "Ludwig, maddened by the poisoning of his entire family, wreaks vengeance on Gunther in the third act by living well."

If this guy is foolish enough to brag about not paying taxes and constantly rubbing your nose in it then he's sort of daring you to report him, it seems to me.
posted by Oriole Adams at 11:43 AM on August 9, 2012 [13 favorites]


Mind your own business...else go ahead and report every hairdresser and barber and landscaper and babysitter and...you get the drift.

Do you and let him do him.
posted by GeniPalm at 11:48 AM on August 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


Regardless of the ethicality of tax evasion, this guy is being a Grade A Asshole by flaunting his toys and calling you a sucker the way you say he does. He doesn't sound like anyone I would want to spend time with. If I were you, I would try to get my SO to stop hanging out with him..
posted by Scientist at 12:25 PM on August 9, 2012


That's what they say, but you don't see it turning up in a lot of, say, opera plots.

Opera plots are usually tragedies!
That's not the model to follow.

You could try to convince him he should pay his taxes - that as others have said it may even be more immediately beneficial for him, and it will certainly be the right thing to do / better in the long term.

Otherwise I'd try to get over it. Reducing his pleasure won't increase yours (or if it does, you're encouraging a tendency better left to wither away).
posted by mdn at 1:07 PM on August 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


[IRS=muggers analogy non-helpful, please answer this specific question? Thanks.]
posted by jessamyn at 1:36 PM on August 9, 2012


Even if you turned this guy into the IRS and he was forced to pay taxes for the rest of his life, he would still be an asshole.

The problem isn't that he's not paying taxes (although I agree that this is a problem). The problem is that he insists on flaunting it in your face. He would find a way to do this, even if he WAS paying taxes.

In other words, this is an unpleasant person that you have to deal with. That's your angle here.

Maybe you can find ways to spend less time with him. Maybe you can come to peace with your own situation so that his obnoxious needling doesn't hurt your feelings. Maybe you can find a way to show him the error of his ways. Maybe you can focus on the shortcomings in his own life which motivate him to brag ceaselessly about the one thing that's going well for him. Whatever works for you.

It may be tempting to turn him over to the IRS. You may even end up doing it. But I suspect you will end up feeling rotten for it. And it won't solve the actual problem.
posted by ErikaB at 2:02 PM on August 9, 2012


Your SO's friend is doing something illegal, but not necessarily immoral. The two concepts are not synonymous.

The friend is successfully evading the activities of an organization that seeks to deprive him of his livelihood. It's nothing to get worked up about. Just ignore him.
posted by John Farrier at 3:23 PM on August 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


Are you sure he's not depressingly deep in debt from buying all these toys and just compensating by telling you he's making a few dimes on the side?

Unless you have some hard evidence it might be better to wait and give a shit about something else when it's your turn to give a shit.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 3:46 PM on August 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't want to rain on everyone's parade, BUT unless you can provide proof to the IRS that this person is actually doing something illegal, the IRS will do nothing. I'm in a similar situation. We KNOW someone who has been screwing the government for decades. The problem is, unless you are the spouse who signed a joint return or can provide personal data about the individual (SSN, details of the financial malfeasance) the IRS isn't interested. How many calls a day do you think the IRS gets with someone complaining that So and So isn't paying their taxes?
Karma will catch up with this person. Let it be.
posted by pentagoet at 4:11 PM on August 9, 2012


My grandmother used to say, "I don't think it's worth going to hell to save a hundred dollars." That is, cheating on your taxes makes you a criminal and (for what it's worth) a sinner. This guy may have nice stuff, but you have a clear conscience and a sound moral sense. Which one of you do you think is better off?
posted by La Cieca at 6:52 PM on August 9, 2012


Oriole Adams: That's what they say, but you don't see it turning up in a lot of, say, opera plots.

That's because most operas are melodramas and/or tragedies. That's exciting to see in the theater because it's a fantasy: you get to enjoy the "pleasure" of revenge vicariously without having to deal with any of the negative aspects of guilt or being arrested and put on trial.

And, that said, there are plenty of operas in which "living well" is just how the plot turns out: for example, in Don Giovanni there is all this bustle of trying to confront and capture the evildoer, but finally, to everyone's surprise, a statue comes to life and drags the guy off to hell. All that's left is for the surviving members of the cast to get on with their postponed marriages and so forth.

Or, in La fanciulla del West, Minnie rescues her lover Johnson from a lynch mob, but there's no bloodbath. She reminds them of the Bible lessons and the letters she's written for them to their families back east and such. Finally they agree that Minnie deserves her change at happiness and send her and Johnson on their way to a happier life. (The finale of this opera is for me the most heart-breaking of anything in Puccini, because it depicts the confusing mixture of joy and sadness we feel when someone we love grows up and gets on with their life: that is, goes out and "lives well.")
posted by La Cieca at 7:19 PM on August 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Agreeing with everyone who said that you don't actually know for sure if he's avoiding his taxes; he could be full of shit. Anyways, I don't think you should take out your spite on hin by some petty revenge scheme of calling the IRS. I think people who compare this guy to a bank robber are being totally melodramatic; he's not waving a gun around or traumatising anybody.

It's easy to pin a lot of unresolved fear and anger on a big target like this but at the end of the day, getting this guy in trouble won't change the fact that you don't have job security or you don't have a bunch of toys or whatever your problem is. And it won't make him any less of a jerk. So he beat the system. Who cares? I bet if you were a close friend of his, you wouldn't even consider tattling on him. If that's true, doing so just because you dislike him is pretty hypocritical.

So yeah, tell on him if you want, but it's probably not going to make you feel as good as just getting this guy out of your life.
posted by windykites at 7:59 PM on August 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


This is your SO's friend, not yours. I can't imagine any relationship that would survive you turning in your partner's friend to the IRS because you are envious of that friend.
posted by rdr at 9:05 PM on August 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


He says he's cheating on his taxes, but you don't know if he's being honest when he says that. He may just enjoy looking like he's smarter than everyone without actually taking the risk. Just ask him to drop the bragging, and move on if he doesn't.
posted by zippy at 9:08 PM on August 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


It really isn't your business, and you have no proof that the guy has done anything illegal. OK, so the guy sounds like a jerk. But reporting him only makes you a petty, jealous person whose cage is easily rattled, and puts your relationship with him and your SO at risk. Stay the fuck out of it, and let it go.
posted by 2N2222 at 11:03 PM on August 9, 2012


I think you need to make bragging less fun for him. Every time he begins bragging, give him a blank look, wait 5 seconds and change the topic. Either a complete non sequitur; mention your neighbour's poodle's haircut or something. If he persists, leave the room on a pretext, or start talking to someone
else. But the important thing is, complete silence for a moticable but brief five secOnds.

Also, you are no sucker.
posted by Omnomnom at 7:23 AM on August 10, 2012


Life isn't long enough to read through all the previous suggestions, so apologies if this isn't new: Ask him very seriously: "What other matters do you lie and cheat about?"
posted by CuriousJohn at 7:09 PM on August 11, 2012


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