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Old 11-21-2001, 11:34 AM
crew crew is offline
LawnSite Member
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: St. Paul,MN.
Posts: 163
Rat or competitor?

Last year around this time, I met a guy who was interested in adding lawn care to his snow plowing service. He was not going to do the work himself. He was going to hire 1 or 2 guys. I answered all his questions honestly and thoroughly.
Lo and behold at the start of this season I see a trailer with his name on it and sure as heck, he's in the lawn buisness.
Ran into him last week and asked how things were going etc. Before long we are talking price and his seem way low. I give him the usual "you should quit screwing yourself and me and raise your prices to a respectable level because you can" line.
Bfore long he says something to the effect of "I'd never make it if i had to pay workers comp and witholding on my 2 guys".

So the question is; do I turn this guy in as a tax cheat? I Hope the argument for this is obvious. On the other hand, he is a little guy (40 accts.-tops) and almost insignificant in the big picture.
I feel compelled to turn him in because I was so forthright in answering his questions and I'm certain we talked about the stuff hes cheating on.

P.S. - The guy was driving a brand new Yukon and is by no streach of the imagination, hurting .

Any similar experiences or thoughts are welcome.
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Old 11-21-2001, 12:30 PM
SprinklerGuy SprinklerGuy is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Scottsdale, Arizona/Colorado Springs, Colorado
Posts: 1,778
I think it's best to be able to live with yourself and look in the mirror and know that you DIDN'T turn someone in. He will get his eventually, they always do.

I have wanted to turn in bunches of guys for installing lawn sprinkler systems without a contractor's license but I never have because I have plenty of work and the people they are working for can't afford me anyway. That is how I justify it to myself anyway!!!

What comes around goes around.
Tony Neumann
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Old 11-21-2001, 01:37 PM
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Green Care Green Care is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Maryland
Posts: 530
There's no need to go that far,with this guy.
I'm sure he,s not in your way.
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Old 11-21-2001, 02:02 PM
groundsguy1970 groundsguy1970 is offline
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Wa. State
Posts: 166
If he starts to bid against your holdings in any way politely tell him you will light him up for pissing on your tree.
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Old 11-21-2001, 02:23 PM
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Fantasy Lawns Fantasy Lawns is offline
LawnSite Bronze Member
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Space Coast
Posts: 1,915
don't let him rent space in your head ..... goes around ....comes around

" Think I'll Come Back Here ....... From
Time to Time ...... Every Now n' Then

Fantasy Lawns. Com
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Old 11-21-2001, 03:24 PM
bobbygedd bobbygedd is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: NJ
Posts: 10,188
if this guy is like me, he will "evolve". a couple years ago i myself didnt believe in insurance, pesticide license, etc. but, soon enough i realized i couldnt run a proffesional service without being legit. he will probably end up legit or out of the biz, i wouldnt turn him in.
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Old 11-21-2001, 03:26 PM
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Richard Martin Richard Martin is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Greenville, NC
Posts: 14,704
Your example guy is a lightweight. One of my local competitors and good friend does this:

1: Has never filed with the state for personal property tax (required in Maryland) on his business.
2: Still owes both state and federal taxes for '99.
3: Never filed state and federal returns or make estimated payments for '00 and '01.
4: Sells plant and other materials at a profit when doing landscape installations and doesn't collect or turn in sales tax.
5: Sells firewood without the required permit and doesn't collect or turn in sales tax.
6: Does landscaping without the required Maryland State Home Improvement Commision license.
7: Does tree trimming without the required Maryland Department Of Natural Resources tree trimming license.
8: Regularly switches license plates between vehicles because he has 3 licensed vehicles and 2 unlicensed vehicles.
9: No workers comp.
10: Has never filled out any paperwork, either federal or state, regarding employees.

The hammer will fall on this guy eventually and when it does it's gonna squash him flat to the ground.

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Old 11-21-2001, 03:46 PM
LawnSite Senior Member
Join Date: May 2001
Location: NE OHIO
Posts: 665
Around here, they'll turn you in if someone notices you have "non-comm" plates on the truck. There was a post a while back. I think it was titled something like- If you cant beat 'em join 'em or something like that. Well this guy tried to turn someone in and the Gov't official said they don't have the recources to chase these guys around, and they basically did'nt care. What gives? Guys like us who spend the first $1,000-$5,000 on required expenses every month look like idiots to the law breakers.
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Old 11-21-2001, 03:55 PM
GrassMaster GrassMaster is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Columbus, JawJa of the great U.S.A.
Posts: 447
Time Will Cure All Problems!


Just try to Help him all you can to make it a Level Playing Field.

You have nothing to gain by Turning him in, as far as a Tax Cheat, at one time or another Everybody has Cheated on Taxes? Right?

I would do Time before I Turn anybody in? What do you really Gain from it. Is he the Only one that would Suffer or Does he have family? Lot more involved than just him?

Help him Understand How to Make More Money & You have a Friend for Life!
If you are at a website & you like it. Please, Click on the Banners?
GrassMaster, Have a Nice Day!!!!!
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Old 11-21-2001, 05:48 PM
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Runner Runner is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Flint, Michigan
Posts: 13,504
and please....don't tell him about Lawnsite.

Thank you, Dad - for always being the dad that you were. You truly are my hero. You always were.
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