Best way for our 8-person co-op household to manage our money?
January 31, 2013 9:21 AM Subscribe
I live in a cooperative household in California - 8 people total - and we have a house bank account that we use to pay for communal food, toilet paper, etc. as well as rent. We all deposit $ in the account, and our house treasurer writes one big check for rent that our landlord cashes. Now the local credit union wants us to pay taxes on the money going in and out of that account, which we've never encountered in the ~5-10 years the house has been running things this way. What to do?
In past situations where I've lived with lots of people in a big house, we would all write rent checks to one person and that person would write a big check to the landlord. Another person would be responsible for utilities, for the internet bill, etc. The difference with the co-op I'm living in now is that each person also pays for food that we share communally (I can't tell you how nice it is not to have 8 sets of eggs, milk, and butter all in one fridge!).
We bank with a local credit union in California. After the treasurer deposited all the individual rent checks and wrote the big one to our landlord yesterday, they called him and told him that he would be responsible for paying tax on that account, which I've never heard of. What's the best thing to do in this situation?
A couple of ideas we've been throwing around:
A) Open a new bank account with another bank (we have Wells Fargo, Chase, and B of A in our area). I opened a WF account in college when my a cappella group needed one, and all we had to do was have me and the assistant director co-sign.
B) Do the thing where one person is responsible for rent, everyone writes checks to him/her, and one big check goes to the landlord. Do the same for utilities and internet. Which would get messy when it comes time to pay for food, since a different person is responsible for house shopping every week. Have a big jar of cash in the kitchen, and everyone puts in their share of house $ each week?
Thanks for your help!