What risk do I have receiving checks for someone else’s work?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What risk do I have receiving checks for someone else’s work?

Basically, what is happening is that my stepdad owes a lot of taxes and if he reports income or deposits money into a bank account, all of it gets taken by the government so he has been paid in cash by his employer in the past. I know that this is not necessarily legal either but it’s out of my hands. Recently, I have done a couple jobs for my stepdad’s boss for a few hours. I

received checks for these as favors I guess. It was never more than $200 I ever received so I never did a W2 or anything. Now, I am getting more checks with my name on them for my dad’s work and the expectation is that I cash them and give them to my parents. I have cashed 1 of the checks for about$300. Now I am realizing that this doesn’t seem right. They tell me that I can’t get into trouble for this but any way that I think about it, it seems fraudulent and

that I would on the hook after cashing the checks.

Asked on May 24, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Utah


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

You are helping your stepfather to commit tax fraud--not just to avoid paying the existing past due taxes, but helping him avoid future taxes, since his income is not being reported as his income. You could potentially face jail time and/or significant fines over this. 
And you may increase your own taxes, since if an employer is sending checks in your name, that will appear to be your income--and hence you will owe taxes on them, if the fraud is not caught and the IRS attributes this to you.
This is a very bad idea.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption