Phil, Greg, vkg, GoofyHoofy, Jean and MZ4,Thank you for thinking this through with me!!! If he can't see the need to mend his ways, I don't see the use in helping him get out of a mess he'll be back in as soon as he can.We subscribe to the thought in the sentence above and we are not about to pay even a little of his taxes. I do think that he has kept up his employee's withholding taxes, but not sure about property taxes. I do think that both he and his wife feel that they work too hard and deserve to chill out now and then... something my husband and I would cure with a camping trip or a day's drive somewhere... that's what I mean about generation gap... being a part of the leveraged spend and have fun gang...I think they made a gaffe once and it began to multiply, but I do wish that we had known about it earlier.The conversation might be a little along the lines of... we know that you are very behind in your federal, maybe state, and possibly property taxes... and we know that you have been paying the employee withholding taxes for your assistant Stacy (others are in charge of themselves being loan agents)... What have you worked out with the IRS and other agencies in order to bring these taxes up to date over time? Then we listen... or... we get the "later" statement...We might offer to help by setting up an account that they would fund and would be in our names and that they could not touch and we would cut the checks when they were needed... no cash from us at all... we do not want to be enablers and we don't have enough to pay and not miss that money... we need to live our own lives for as long as we may be around to do that...There is nothing wrong with changing your life style to live within your means!!! It is what we have done all of our lives. We don't have much sympathy for anything else. We'll help them learn this lesson and help them plan and get this change done, but anything else will just be something we won't handle... I hope we get the chance to have a good discussion and continue to have that conversation so that part of the stress is not keeping it from us as well... We'll try not to add guilt to the equation, but firmness is something we will keep in the mix. If you, as tax experts, do not have any easier solutions for doing this, then I think that there are none out there, and that's what I wanted to know. I trust all of you very much.The tax preparer is a very good man who has done this work outstandingly and honestly for many years and is a teacher at California Universities in this subject as well. We are sure that his strong deadlines and methods for dealing with the problem were not followed. We will ask him, also, what to do or emphasize in having this conversation and, hopefully, do this in such a way that he will not be breaking his confidentiality rules to his client, our son and daughter-in-law. I think that the disclosure of the amount that they owe by our daughter-in-law at Christmas was done with the hope that we would intervene in some way. I suspect that she wanted us to just pay the back taxes, but we won't do that. She needs to reel in her expenses as well since she is one who buys things and plans the cruises most of the time...kind of stays on the sidelines doing her thing until the xyzt hits the fan... both of them are complicit in this problem... and... they don't talk to each other about it often either... Thanks for the support and the straight talk. I appreciate it greatly.Anne
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