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Old 01-21-2011, 09:11 AM
 
37 posts, read 188,796 times
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Default Collecting Benefits: do you report gifts from family and friends for work?

I am broke, in serious debt and unemployed. I am also collecting unemployment insurance benefits while aggressively looking for work.

If my brother askes me to clean up his house and I spend a few hours cleaning and he pays me $50 in cash should I report this income to the people at the unemployment office? Exactly how strict are they about people on benefits getting cash gifts for helping around the house? When is it a gift vs. cash income for the people at the unemployment office?
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Old 01-21-2011, 02:51 PM
 
4 posts, read 7,143 times
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Cleaning up your brothers house is not a full time job, you are perfectly fine to continue to collect unemployment.

Now, if you clean your brothers house 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, it now becomes a "job" and by working 8 hours a day, how can you look for a job (according to unemployment laws)? That means your now self employed and can not collect unemployment.
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Old 01-23-2011, 02:54 AM
 
Location: New Jersey
3,814 posts, read 7,776,935 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by workinman1 View Post
Cleaning up your brothers house is not a full time job, you are perfectly fine to continue to collect unemployment.

Now, if you clean your brothers house 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, it now becomes a "job" and by working 8 hours a day, how can you look for a job (according to unemployment laws)? That means your now self employed and can not collect unemployment.
It seems that the OP is not asking about the effect of full-time employment, but rather on the effect of earnings from "part-time" employment on unemployment payments.

Technically, you do have to report any earnings you receive while on unemployment, and they are used to offset your unemployment benefits for the week in which they are earned (the states have different formulas for how these offsets work).

Given your description of your situation, I am assuming that your brother does not consider you a part-time employee -- that is, he has not required that you complete a 1099 form, he does not not pay any taxes that would be associated with the work of a domestic cleaner, etc.

Since the payments are modest, irregular in nature, and your brother is not declaring you are an employee, I would interpret your situation as one in which you do occasional tasks for your brother, and he responds on occasion with small cash gifts to show his appreciation.

If there is any regular pattern to this arrangement, or if the gifts turn into "earnings" (e.g., based an hourly rate), you should probably consult an accountant for a more formal opinion.
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Old 01-23-2011, 05:55 AM
 
37 posts, read 188,796 times
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I would expect that the majority of people on unemployment will do some type of off the books work to supplement their income from jobless benefits. I would also expect that the folks at the unemployment office are not concerned about people not advertising that they shoveled the neighbors driveway for $20 cash. I doubt the next door neighbor is going to call down to the unemployment office and report that he paid someone collecting jobless benefits $20 and to make sure that the person reported this income.

But maybe most of the people on this board are super honest and careful and report every dime of cash off the books income?
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Old 01-23-2011, 08:52 PM
 
379 posts, read 666,941 times
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I'll give you a little insight about my personal philosophy about a situation like this...

If your income, what ever the source of that income is, is being officially reported against you to the IRS (taking your social security number and paying you with a check), then you have a duty to report it as well. However, if no information is collected from you then I don't think you have anything to worry about.
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Old 08-06-2013, 03:43 PM
 
1 posts, read 1,381 times
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Default Unemployment insurance

Along this general line... can I receive the same unemployment benefits I currently receive if I receive a "gift". If my Dad sends a check to me and my wife to help us out, does that affect my reporting or eligibility? It will be reported on my taxes as a gift (and is not a taxable gift). It is just that- a gift of some money via a check which we would deposit to our bank account.
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Old 08-06-2013, 04:11 PM
 
5,878 posts, read 3,793,808 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brianrowland View Post
Along this general line... can I receive the same unemployment benefits I currently receive if I receive a "gift". If my Dad sends a check to me and my wife to help us out, does that affect my reporting or eligibility? It will be reported on my taxes as a gift (and is not a taxable gift). It is just that- a gift of some money via a check which we would deposit to our bank account.
I think you are fine as long as check say gift in memo maybe Adriane22 can answer better. The UI offices are so understaffed.
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Old 08-06-2013, 04:43 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
13,486 posts, read 16,930,831 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brianrowland View Post
Along this general line... can I receive the same unemployment benefits I currently receive if I receive a "gift". If my Dad sends a check to me and my wife to help us out, does that affect my reporting or eligibility? It will be reported on my taxes as a gift (and is not a taxable gift). It is just that- a gift of some money via a check which we would deposit to our bank account.
This is a gift, not earned money. You don't need to report it.
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