Helping Out A Father In Need

I recently had a really long conversation with a reader who asked me for advice on what to do about his ailing father who is in debt.  I have some opinions here and really want to help, but I’m no lawyer or tax accountant. So perhaps the Financial Samurai community can come together and provide the best course of action.

If you are to read this post, please leave the judging to a minimum and open your hearts and intellectual minds instead.  I’ve written the post in a way that best reflects our conversation and the dilemma at hand.

The Situation

My father is 61 years and has been out of work for the past year and a half.  He hurt his back, and is currently on disability leave from his job as a construction worker.   He lives in rural Pennsylvania, where the cost of living is low, but so are the wages.  The most he’s ever made was $35,000, and that’s if he was fully employed all year, which often times, he was not.

My grandmother passed away three years ago, and as the good son, my father paid for the $6,000 funeral himself, even though he has an older sister who could have helped pitch in.  My grandma left my father her house, even though he has a small house of his own.  With the little remaining money he had post the funeral, he’s been fixing up the house to sell.  It’s been a rough road thanks to the economy, and his funds have run out.  That was last year.

We had a heart-to-heart last Thanksgiving, and I discovered that not only did my father have no savings, he was $13,000 in credit card debt.  His disability insurance of $1,200 provides him enough to scrape by every month, but without a healthy back, he can’t get back to work.  He wants to pay off his credit card debt, finish up everything in the house, and just lead a simple life.  I sent him some money then, and one more time again this year, but something just feels a little off.

He is eligible for Social Security next year, which I think will provide a boost to his income, but I’m not sure.  Are you allowed to receive disability insurance and social security at the same time?  I’ve also read that it’s better to wait a little longer to collect social security so that his monthly checks will be higher.  But, I’m stressed too, because he has other serious health issues which I’d prefer not to get into.

My father has a lot of pride and he doesn’t want to ask me for money.  I know it embarrasses him to ask, even though I am happy to help.  I’m not that wealthy myself, but I could afford giving him an extra $500 a month if I had to.  I’ll just save less for my own retirement.  He feels bad taking my money, but after helping raise me and pay for my tuition, I want to help. I need to help!

The Dilemma

When I talked to him last week, he came up with an idea that surprised me.  His little house in Pennsylvania actually sits on about 50 acres of land with lots of huge trees.  He told me that he spoke to an “timber agent”, who has secured a contract to have loggers cut down an untold number of his trees and pay him a handsome sum of roughly ~$20,000.  He said he’d still have many trees left, and a lot of the big ones were rotting away anyway, and would eventually fall down.

The only issue is that if he receives $20,000, he will lose his disability benefits because there is a low income ceiling to qualify (even though he’s not cutting down the trees himself, he would still have to claim all the income.  The government won’t give out disability benefits to people making income over ~12,000/year because they assume you can’t work if you’re disabled).  He could apply for social security next year, but he would get about $400 less a month.  That’s a full $4,800 a year lost for a man who doesn’t know when he’ll be able to work again.  He’s stuck between a rock and a hard place because he needs more money to survive and pay off his credit card debt.  Yet if he proceeds with the monetization of his land, he’ll get penalized from the government.  Oh, how I despise the government with all its rules.  He’s a military veteran too.  Why can’t the government just take care of our troops when they are in need?

He said he’d like to have the logging company send me the $20,000 in proceeds so that he can still receive his much needed disability benefits, and pay me back for all the times I’ve helped him.  And, when the time comes where he could use some money, and if Social Security isn’t enough, he’d kindly ask me to help him out.  I could hear his pride talking.  He felt so proud that he finally thought of a way to make a decent income during a terrible property market.  Of course I would help him out, even without the $20,000.  I just don’t know what the implications are.

Questions

My main question is whether I am allowed to receive $20,000 from a company for trees I do not own?  I’m assuming that anybody can receive any legitimate money from anybody or corporation so long as the person receiving the money files a specific tax form and pays the appropriate level of taxes.  All our government cares about is making more money off of us, right?

I’m also curious to know what other ramifications there are for accepting this money.  Will filing a Schedule C raise red flags?  Will I get audited?  Are only those who file Schedule Cs and load them up with expenses to make it loss making so they can pay less taxes at risk?  If I pay taxes on the funds, am I allowed to then send him a check for $500 here and there tax free to help him out?  So many questions and unknowns!

Our tax code is so complicated, I’m not sure about anything.  All I want to do is empower my father to help himself.    He doesn’t want my money and by accepting this money, it’ll allow him to keep his disability benefits, show that he can help out his son, and demonstrate that not all is lost, and that even with a bad back at 61, he’s able to produce some income.

SAM’S SUGGESTIONS

I’ve come up with three solutions to this scenario:

1) The first scenarios is to actually not accept the money, but to ask the logging company to pay the $20,000 in installments over several years so that the father can keep receiving disability insurance.  The father needs to figure out what the maximum income he is allowed to earn in order to keep receiving disability and calculate some math.  Figure out how much the father has earned in 2011 already and subtract that level by the maximum income allowed to earn.  If he’s earned $6,000 and the maximum allowable is $12,000, then the father cannot accept more than $5,999 (to be safe) this year.  Ask the logging company to pay $5,999 in year one, $7,001 in year two, and $7,000 in year three so that there’s a buffer in year 2 and 3 if he wants to make $5,000 doing something else, and he still needs disability.  The money should be put in an independent escrow company so that just in case the logging company goes bankrupt, the father will still get paid.

2) Accept the money and file a 1099 MISC/Schedule C highlighting the $20,000 in other income as a contractor/sole proprietor.  At the same time, ask the father to write a letter consenting to the payment of the $20,000 by the logging company to the son, and have the logging company and father both sign the document, and send a copy to the son.  Again, I am assuming that so long as the son pays taxes on the $20,000, and doesn’t load the Schedule C with all these random types of expenses then the government should find this acceptable, especially since the son is in a higher tax bracket.  However, as I said in the beginning, I am not a tax attorney/accountant, so I am not exactly sure what the implications are and I’m hoping some of you can share your thoughts.

3) Similar to option 2, accept the money but file a Schedule D as an individual instead reporting the income as capital gains (if the company agrees not to issue a 1099 MISC), treating the sale as an investment.  The cost basis needed to calculate the net income could be the price the father paid when he acquired the land (only ~$9,000 bought many years ago) or avoid all of that and claim the entire $20,000 without reducing it by a cost basis.  I’m certainly not an expert on timber sales, but I’d think it could be treated this way as a gift.  Need some help here from you guys as I’m not sure this will fly.

CONCLUSION

The worst case scenario is that the son gets audited, the IRS says this is not allowed even though the son has payed the taxes, and has to pay some penalty for receiving payment from the logging company.  Furthermore, the father loses his disability or social security for trying to double dip.  But, I can’t see the father losing social security benefits that he’s paid into over the past 35+ years.  What if the father didn’t have this disability insurance dilemma, and was just poor and wanted to help his son, who was also going through financial hardship?  I don’t see why his father can just have the logging company pay his son, who will pay the taxes instead.

The main goal is to help out a father in need, and protect him from losing his insurance given that he already has a life threatening ailment.  No insurance company will insure a man with a history of life threatening illnesses.  That’s just a fact, and don’t get me started about the countless cases of insurance companies screwing their clients out of claims.  It’s just sick and unfathomable that business has to get in the way of doing the right thing.

Readers, please share your advice and solutions to this dilemma.  Can you get social security and disability insurance at the same time?  Hopefully they are not mutually exclusive.  Anybody with tax or legal insights is much appreciated!

Regards,

Sam

Sam started Financial Samurai in 2009 during the depths of the financial crisis as a way to make sense of chaos. After 13 years working on Wall Street, Sam decided to retire in 2012 to utilize everything he learned in business school to focus on online entrepreneurship.

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Comments

  1. says

    The first solution is what came to mind when I was reading this. If the father were to accept payment in installments, then there wouldn’t be an income issue for the disability payments. This solution is also be the most tax friendly for everyone, since the son would have to pay taxes on the $20k at his marginal income rate and his father doesn’t have much income and would probably not have to pay any taxes.

    Another option is for the father to rent out or sell the house he inherited. I’m not sure how that income would affect his disability payments, but it may be a way to bring in some needed cash flow. It’s certainly better than a house sitting empty and being a drain on income.

    On another note, I urge his father (or the son in his behalf) to look into local, state, or federal veteran’s benefits. Many veterans aren’t aware of the benefits which may be available to them. Many counties and/or regions have a veteran’s affairs office which can help your father assess the benefits available to him and help him apply.

    • says

      I feel the first solution is the best one as well. I’m just wondering which escrow company out there will be the intermediary. Guess we’ll try and find some companies online, unless you have any suggestions.

      Renting out the house is a good idea. At least there is no mortgage I don’t think. Will relay, or hopefully the son is reading this now.

    • "The son" says

      Hi Ryan. Thanks for your comments. With the current state of his home, it’s unfortunately not in rentable condition. But that’s a good thing for him to keep in mind for later if he finds any other assets he needs to sell to work on paying down his debt. I’ve encouraged my dad to contact veteran’s affairs again and get more help and try calling a different office if the people don’t have definitive answers for him.

  2. says

    Attempting to divert the income to the son on assets he does not own is not a good idea. Both individuals could be committing tax fraud. Additionally, Social Security could come after the father for fraud as well. Don’t do it!

    Assuming the tree buying company is a stable, well funded company, an installment sale would be my first choice. Be sure to negotiate a reasonable interest rate on the installment sale. Remember that an installment sale consists of interest income, a return of adjusted basis in the property and gain on the sale. This means that a reasonable basis would need to be established prior to the sale so the father would have a full understanding on just how much of each payment is a combination of gain/interest which impacts his income situation vs. the portion that serves as a return of basis.

    Concerning the question involving the ramifications of receiving disability insurance and social security at the same time; I would suggest that both individuals, together, immediately contact Social Security to get an answer. Local offices are often very customer service orientated. They can answer that question as well as running the numbers on drawing SS at 62 vs. waiting. I suspect that in light of the father’s financial issues, drawing early is probably the best choice.

    These are all issues that should be thought out and perhaps run by experts so that no surprises crop up. Once the deal is done, it is difficult, if not impossible to change the ramifications.

    I have one last comment that is perhaps a bit more personal in nature. At least a couple of times the writer commented on the unfairness of the tax code, treatment of veterans and insurance companies. I gently suggest that the writer get past this stuff and attack the issue as unemotional and analytical as possible. Accept no unproven assumptions. Nail down numbers and pin down SS officials. They you are truly taking care of your father in the manner that he so much deserves.

    Take care.

    • says

      Hi Al, thanks for your thoughts. Why would this be considered tax fraud though, if the son, who has a higher marginal tax rate is going to pay more taxes on the income received?

      Doesn’t the father have a right to direct the payment of his income to whoever he chooses? For example, if I do some freelance work on my site and get some advertisement revenue, I can simply tell the client to make the check out to a friend, relative, or someone who I need to pay who has helped do some work on my site.

      Or, is this not allowed, because the government wants me to pay taxes on income received, and then in the case of paying someone who worked on my site, they want him to pay taxes on the income he receives from me ie double taxation? But, it becomes a wash doesn’t it, b/c the money I pay the person to work on my site is a business expense against income.

      Further thoughts?

      • says

        I think that when you direct your freelance revenue to a third party, this does not
        relieve you of reporting that income. I suspect that no matter where you ask
        the check to be sent, you are still receiving a 1099Misc.

        In this case the pure and simple reason in wanting to divert income to the son
        is to cheat the government out of disability payments. And although the
        reasoning may seem to be pure, I believe the action in very questionable in the
        gov’t’s mind.

        This was the very reason Medicaid laws were changed to allow a look back
        period to previous spending down/giving of assets to qualify for Medicaid
        provided long term care.

        And once again, remember, the entire $20k of the sale should not be qualified
        as taxable income if a reasonable, justifiable basis for the trees can be
        established.

        • says

          Fair points Al. I wonder if all advertisement clients send 1099Misc statements though? I think there is some income threshold where they don’t have to until it’s reached.

          The other scenario is: What if the poor father, just wants to help out his poor son who has little money and got into some financial trouble. The son pays the taxes on it, and gets help from his father. Seems pretty just to me.

          I understand where you are coming from on the disability payments. He could always chop down the trees next year instead when the income threshold is raised, or not at all. But, I don’t know that rule.

      • says

        The alternative is to have the property logged in sections over two or three years. This will likely result in a lower profit since the logging company has to come back three times, but it gives the dad the opportunity to select another logging company if the first is unstable or provides poor service in any other way.

    • "The son" says

      Hi everybody, thanks again for all of your tips, wow! My dad is going to talk to some more experienced people at social security so he can get more help. I’ve decided not to be involved in claiming any of the income. You’re right – too risky, not worth it, and we don’t want to break the law. I’ve mentioned the idea to get only a portion of the income now and the rest over the next few years. Doesn’t sound like the company will help out b/c the volume of trees he’s trying to sell is a drop in the bucket compared to their normal clientele.

      Yeah, it would be great if he could only cut down a few trees this year and do the rest little by little, but the amount of work involved is ridiculous! The trees are not next to a nicely paved road – they are back in the woods and really huge. The loggers he’s working with will only come out if he cuts down a certain amount, which is over the $12,000/year disability “income cap.” But we’ll see what happens. Hopefully the social security office will have good news and everybody can win!

  3. says

    Wow. Tough situation. I believe that disabily is paid only until Social Security starts.
    http://www.fs.fed.us/spf/coop/library/timbertax.pdf provides a good overview of the tax treatment. I’d consider gifting half the property, using the unified gift credit (soon tax due ) and the income will legitimately flow to the son.
    It’s unfortunate the rules are set up in such a way that people are boxed in like this.

    • says

      Hi Joe, thanks for the info. So, it sounds like the right strategy in your scenario is to have him collect disability for as long as possible, and then collect social security right? It would help him since when he delays SS collection, he’ll get a bigger payment.

      • says

        I’d try that. Is it SSI disability? If so, the government will dictate the crossover. If it’s from the company he worked for, it’s more likely worker’s comp, and then, it’s iffy how they’ll handle.

        • "The son" says

          Hi Joe. Thanks for your comments. Yes, it’s SSI disability. Hopefully when he meets with them they will say it won’t count against him since he didn’t do any actual work.

  4. says

    Hey Sam. Hmm that’s definitely a tricky one. I never thought about people getting money from selling trees on their property but I guess it must happen all the time! Some of the red flags for audits on schedule C that I’ve heard about are people that file by paper (esp. if it’s sloppy) instead of electronically, rounding everything to even numbers instead of reporting the actual amounts, and forgetting to fill out all the parts of the form. I imagine claiming a ton of expenses would also create a flag like you mentioned. Wish I knew more.

    • says

      The thing is with Schedule C… it’s the folks who load the Schedule C with every expense under the moon and create a loss to reduce their main income, who are the ones most likely to get audited I think.

      If you have a Schedule C, and are paying taxes on it, the IRS should be happy you are getting more income so you can pay more taxes!

  5. says

    I do send support fund to my ailing parents in India. They are not in debt, but the earnings from their nest is not enough. I do feel we always support our parents. As we are children two times in our lives. Once below 18 and above 80. Children do need financial support!

    BTW. Samurai if you haven’t noticed, you are in my blog roll, on side panel, do check my site too.

    • says

      Indeed, but if the money is put into an escrow account, hopefully there is some type of FDIC insurance or something that he will be able to collect, no matter what.

      I’ve got to imagine commercial banks have this service, as they are happy to take the money, charge an escrow fee, and use the money to invest while paying the person personal interest no?

      • says

        Great point — I hadn’t thought about putting it into escrow. (Although now that I read through the comments, that was discussed in comment #1.) I don’t know much about the repercussions of putting it in escrow, so one question I’d be asking would be if the government would — for the purposes of “disability” — consider the amount in escrow to be a cash asset, since it’s due to be paid to the father.

      • says

        I suspect that putting the money in an escrow account would still require the
        entire amount to be taxable upon deposit. Your example would be to place the
        funds in a trust account held in the borrower’s name, which would generate
        constructive receipt and immediate taxable implications.

        I think that to avoid those immediate taxable implications the money must be
        retained in the escrow account until the fulfillment of contractually-agreed
        conditions, which seems a bit unlikely in this case.

  6. says

    Not sure about local laws, but why not gift the property to son (no step up, but what is more important)? Then son would have to claim the income…Further, he may be able to get further benefits because dad is supposed to pay rent.

    SSA has some cool calculators that can be checked out http://www.ssa.gov/oact/anypia/index.html

    Also, on an unrelated note they should talk to gas companies. If they are on the New York/PA border there is a TON of money being made in natural gas.

  7. says

    I don’t know the tax laws in the US but in Canada, I would have the son buy the property from the father (whatever amount is legal and as low as possible). From there, you proceed on doing all the work necessary to cut the trees and finish the renos on the house. The son can then sell the property as whole, or even look into the possibility of a sub division (if the area is worth developing further) if you want to do some work and maximize the profits. During that time, the son can start loaning the money at the minimum interest rates required by law for the needs of his father.

    The father is all protected in the above scenario and the son ends up paying a little more in taxes but there are ways to get around that such as limiting the amount of trees you cut per year and such. All of it would be legal accounting but it needs to be done in the proper order otherwise it can be seen as tax avoidance.

    In this scenario, the father doesn’t get a lump sum from the house or the trees, the estate is managed differently through the son who then loans money to his father with some gifts here and there. Legally, you should be able to provide gifts to some extent.

    I would seriously suggest to talk with a tax accountant since the problem, the way I understand it, is mostly about managing the current assets while providing a way for the father to retire.

    Hope the situation works out!

  8. David M says

    The first thing this individual should do is contact the Social Security Administration and talk to them. Many things that people “Know” about Social Security are WRONG.

    If this person is on Social Security Disability Insurance then I think this money will not effect him. Why? He is not working and all Social Security care about is work. If he is unalble to do Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) then I do not think the $20,000 will have any impact on his ability to collect SSDI.

    However, if he is collecting a private disability insurance – well they can make up any rules they want!

    • "The son" says

      Thanks David! Yes it’s SSD and my dad’s got an appointment to talk with some more experienced people at a different state branch soon, so hopefully they know what they’re talking about and can help him out!

    • says

      I concur David. I have consulted with someone who worked for the Social Security Administration on these social security disability insurance cases and believe that you are correct in stating that the sale of capital assets (as in selling the tress cut down by someone else) would not affect the SSDI.

      If the Father is not collecting SSDI, then perhaps that could be checked into with the Social Security District office in his area to see if he is eligible. If so, that might enable him to postpone collecting the regular Social Security benefits until his normal retirement age.

  9. says

    The $20,000 if given to the son would probably be a gift and the father would be obligated to pay gift tax on the amount. There is a $13,000 annual exemption per recipient so you would pay tax on the remaining $7,000. Note that the gift tax rate is very high.

    I think your best bet will be to hire a professional for a consultation. Many lawyers and financial planners (opt for fee only) are experts in this area and the CFP at least would have a legal obligation to act as your fiduciary. A two hour consultation should cost you less than $250 (or a lot less depending on your area) and could save you a boat load of trouble down the road.

    You don’t want to end up with a huge tax bill, no disability or social security benefits because you made a mistake that looks like fraud. Consult a professional.

    • says

      @No Debt MBA

      Actually the 7k would eat into the $5mil lifetime gift exemption amount so it would really be a problem as long as dad filed a 709 form, but you are missing the bigger problem:
      – That 20K is income which could cut him off from gov’t benefits…it is irrelevant that he then gifted the money away.

      Your plan would be the equivalent as me earning $500K giving $450K of it to my son and then saying I only have to pay taxes on the 50K…doesn’t make much sense does it?

      • says

        Evan, You’re right. I just meant to note that there might be gift tax implications and then direct them to a professional. As you can tell I’m not qualified to give them a plan and just wanted to urge them to seek qualified professional help.

        Thanks for clarifying the gift tax issues.

      • The Genius says

        In the 500K/450K example, if you never received income of 500K from a client/corporate, then you never earned it. You only pay tax on the income received.

  10. Mike Hunt says

    How about this option… only cut down $5,999 worth of trees in year one, and the money goes straight to the father?

    Deal with year 2 & 3 as they come later.

    If the loggers pay you in cash and don’t report it as their business expense then it all becomes much harder to track.

    -Mike

    • says

      @Mike, I am all for crafting a solution that best meets the needs of the father. That said, I think you are crossing the line when recommending tax fraud by both the logging company and the father.

      The best solution is the one that does not break any laws.

      • Mike Hunt says

        The first point was my real advice that should be a good solution. The last sentence was a throwaway tongue in cheek comment that was not meant to be taken seriously.

  11. says

    As No debt MBA mentioned earlier, I think that the best option for this would be to have the logging companies come in and instead of taking 20k worth of trees in year one, only take an amount of trees slightly less than he needs for social security to ensure that he will not max out – he can do the same thing for the next few years. If the father requests that more trees be planted for the ones that are harvested (the logging company may even pay for it) He can start to create a stable income source by cutting down a percentage of what he’s got and replanting.

    • says

      To the son: If your dad paid for your tuition, then you owe it to him (not that you wouldn’t otherwise) to pay off his credit card bills, or to find a solution for them right now. Let’s get real: the credit card debt costs…what, 15% of $13k each year? That’s $1950 a year…or $162 a month. 15% of his disability is going to the credit card company each year. Come on.

      Maybe he could HELOC it out of the new house and get a lower rate. One of the great tax benefits of debt is that it isn’t income, even if it increases net available income.

      On the topic of the $20k: get a CPA. $500 will save you plenty of headaches and give you plenty of good advice.

      Once you have the $20k in hand, I would look at putting it in a fixed immediate annuity that will cash flow until the day he dies. A $20k annuity should bring monthly cash flow of $100-$120 a month at his age, which should do wonders to supplement his budget. Remember, he’s earning $1200 a month, but his expenses are probably $1k of that. To go from $200 available monthly cashflow to $300-320 is huge!

      • "The son" says

        Good points, thanks JT. An annuity is a good idea. I’ll look into that for him as another option.

  12. "The son" says

    Hi everybody. This post is actually about me; I’m the son facing this tricky dilemma. I just wanted to come out and say THANK YOU. Sam, thanks so much for taking the time to read my initial email and for putting this up on your site. And wow, so many great insights and tips from all of you – thanks! This has been a really stressful situation for me and I felt so helpless until after reading everyone’s feedback.

    I’ve had many talks with my dad recently and have decided not to claim any of the lumber income on my tax return. I agree it is NOT worth the risk of getting caught for tax fraud – what a disaster that would be. My dad has made some calls around and will be meeting with a social security disability rep at a different state branch to hopefully get better, clear cut answers. There is a difficult (and rather disgruntled) manager at the small local branch where he’s been going and it’s possible that manager has been giving him bad information just to get him to stop asking questions.

    Since my dad’s not performing any labor/work to cut down the trees, we’re hoping to get clearance that doesn’t count against the $1000/month maximum income cap in order for him to keep his SSD benefits. I’ll do my best to reply to some of your individual comments and hopefully will have good news in a few days. Fingers crossed!

  13. says

    My first thought was exactly Evan’s point- have dad gift the property to his son, who can then sell the trees and give dad some cash. If son is married, dad can gift 20k worth of property to son and wife tax free.

  14. says

    Does the dad have to gift the whole property (which would be worth a lot more than the timber rights)? Why not just gift the cutting rights to the timber to the son + the son’s wife to reduce the gift tax?

  15. says

    Ok first of all, great idea Sam. Awesome use of the brain power around here.

    Here is my suggestion, and it ignores any emotional attachments so it might not be appropriate. Have the father sell both houses to his son for a below market cost. The son can pay him back in instalments to lessen the financial strain on the payments. Have the son sell the lumber and then either work with his dad to fix up the other house, or hire someone to work with his dad. If his dad has 40+ years of construction experience he probably doesn’t need a certified carpenter to come help, and my guess would be that labour is cheap in that part of the country right now. If the son can’t afford this help, he could sell the lumber. Once the house is fixed up he could rent one of the houses out and help his father out until the market picks up a little and they sell whichever house the father doesn’t want to live in. At that point he would likely be ready for social security, and a nice 100,000+ boost to pay all of his debts should keep him living fairly comfortably for awhile.

    • says

      Some good suggestions, and will let the son elaborate further. The father, despite his construction experience is injured, hence on disability leave and why he cant get his grandma’s house fixed enough to sell/rent. And, he’s broke, so he’s in a tough pickle.

      There are tax implications always on a transfer of assets, so I’m not sure whether sooner or later, there will be a tax levy at full market price.

      Thx!

  16. "The son" says

    Good news everybody! My dad was able to speak with some helpful people at a bigger state branch of social security. Although he couldn’t get anything in writing, he did get confirmation that the timber sales would not count against him because he isn’t performing any work to get that money. And just in time for Father’s day too. :) I’m relieved I don’t have to worry about doing something shady on my taxes, he can move forward with the loggers, and he can use the earnings towards his debt and getting back on his feet. Thanks again everyone for all of your tips and comments. Happy Father’s Day!

    • says

      Awesome!!!! So happy that your dad can come up with an equitable resolution! Several people have commented on this scenario and I’m glad it’s true and something your proposed! Fight for our rights!

      This post makes me SO happy to have a blog. We’ve got a lot of smart folks reading, and collectively, we can come up with an optimal solution. Hooray!

      Sam

  17. says

    i like the gift / income exclusion approach. regardless of what this individual desires, i’d like to publicly commend them for the initiative they have shown in caring for parents who sacrificed so much caring for him/her earlier in life.

  18. says

    Don’t know if anyone has mentioned or even thought about this. Why not add the son to the property as an owner, say even 1%. As an owner of the property the son could then legally collect money from the logging company. He could get the 1099 and pay taxes on the money. No audit, no social security no gift tax problems.

    What I would do is calculate how much I would have paid in taxes with my regular income versus what I would have to pay with the extra $20K. Whatever untaxed portion of the $20K is left, I would dole out to dad. As long as you’re not giving him money regularly and it’s not over $10K for the year you’re fine.

    My mom is on disability and is WAY to young to collect social security. I’ve done something similar with her and her mortgage and it’s worked out for us. :) Mom keeps her home, I claim it on my taxes. Simple.

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