It costs me more money to pay my guys cash than it does to pay them with a paycheck. This is because I then have to pay the tax on that money, instead of being able to expense the money.
So how do you know for sure he is paying under the table? What actual proof do you have? I looked at the wording in your post and it appears to me you're speculating. And if he is - I wouldn't worry about it, it's his problem in the long run.
In the Hardscape industry, this is nothing new. This guy will go away and someone else will pop up. 17.5 years ago I got into hardscaping, I've seen more people come and go than you would ever realize. Nearly all of them lasting only 3-5 years.
Let him focus on cut throat rates. And you focus on perfecting quality and perfecting a compelling sales presentation. You are taking a photo album with you on your sales presentations, right? And in this album you do have pics of the process and you explain why you do what you do and what can happen if you don't, right? And you have pics of completed jobs with no bare soil in the pics right? Intact, you have 2 photo albums like I do, right? Yes, I said "albums". Not a computer screen. Albums. Full of pics. Posted via Mobile Device