Tl;Dr – in-laws make high ticket purchases on eBay using my account and they pay me for the purchases. Makes me feel uneasy doing it but unless it’s illegal I can’t easily just say no. Am I getting myself into future trouble?
My in-laws have seasoned, fluid cash that is gotten legally from 1099 contract jobs, and they also have expensive tastes. They frequently find items on ebay that are high ticket amounts and they total way over the CTR limits.
Since they don’t have an ebay account of their own and only a basic credit union account, they are putting the cash in my account (with a national association traditional bank) and I make the purchases on their behalf using my debit card.
We’ve never structured the transactions, but they total easily over $25k over a month or so.
My personal financial picture is very different usually, and this amount is equal to half my yearly salary(!) – very uncharacteristic for my usual deposit activity.
Am I opening myself up for liability? Would FinCEN refer the CTR to the IRS and trigger them to want to tax me on these deposits as earned income? I only want to assist them in purchasing the things they want as they can’t make the transaction on their own, I don’t want to trigger any sort of money laundering investigation.
It makes me feel uncomfortable though, but without any sort of legal framework suggesting this is a breach of my banks terms and conditions or federal law, I find it difficult to say no to their requests. Any money they deposit is a 100% pass-through and I do not earn anything from doing this.
Any constructive advice is appreciated. Thanks.
They are not “unable” to make their own purchases. Anyone can open an ebay account. Anyone can open a bank at a national chain bank and get a debit card. Or get a paypal account.
I don’t know if FinCEN or anyone else will care about these transactions, but if they make you uneasy, help them open their own accounts. (They probably have to purchase a few smaller items on ebay to get a good reputation before trying to buy big ticket items.)
It seems weird that they can’t buy their own stuff.
If i were you I’d pay using a credit card and have them deposit the cash to your account (or even pay your visa/MC)
You’d be getting a lot of free travel points or cashback…
It’s odd that they’re very high 1099 income earners yet can’t figure out their own eBay and Paypal account.
Nothing inherently illegal but it’s definitely weird. Your in-laws either are up to something sketchy or misunderstand the law since CTR refers to cash and eBay purchases are not.
There may be some reasonable explanation, but uncharitable explanations are much easier to form.
> that is gotten legally from 1099 contract jobs
And they’re filing accurate an 1040 right?
> I find it difficult to say no to their requests.
Just my opinion, but it should be your spouse that’s saying no. The fact that you’re involved at all is really not great.
Yeahhh…no. This is weird and you should probably tell them that this year you will help them set up their own account, but you want to keep your account for your own purchases.
Ctr limits apply to currency only. Tell them to stop being weird or pay their taxes
They are definitely trying to avoid something. No reason they can’t open an ebay account and make their own purchases unless they are trying to skirt something else by having you as a middle man. I’m not an expert and can’t offer any suggestions as to what they are trying to do but something is funky about it for sure.
Yes. If you’re audited, the IRS can count every deposit into your bank accounts as income. It is up to you to prove that the deposits aren’t income. Since all you’re able to prove is that you’re using the money to make expensive purchases (you’re using your account and take receipt of the items, right?), then that money is definitely income.
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