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Someone (let us call her Joana) opened a business bank

Someone (let us call...

Someone (let us call her Joana) opened a business bank account in her name but for a friend (let us call her Fake). Joana somehow forgot about it and one year after sees that a lot of money has been deposited and withdrawn by Fake. Joana is now wondering if she could face tax liability for financial activities done in this business bank account by Fake. Joana has closed account since then. What should Joana do? Would an Indemnification and hold harmless agreement be sufficient to protect Joana?

Lawyer's Assistant: What state is the friend in? It matters because laws vary by location.

Florida

Lawyer's Assistant: What steps has the friend taken so far?

Joana sent an indemnification and hold harmless agreement to Fake, but Fake is refusing to sign.

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

That Joana has never had control over the Bank Account or the Company, has never deposited or withdrawn any funds on her own account into the Bank Account...

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Answered in 31 minutes by:
3/26/2018
Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 103,583
Experience: Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. There is no specific course of action is proposed and no attorney-client relationship or privilege formed within this conversation. (You may also be offered a phone call, but those don’t come from me and are offered by the website and you are under no obligation to accept.)

Simply withdrawing money from the account does not have financial liability. Can you please explain what kind of account this was, where the money was coming from, and whether or not Joana and Fake were involved in some kind of a business, etc?

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
First, let me say I am writing this for a friend of mine who is in this situation. So I do not know all the details, and right now I am not able for find my friend. But I decided to use this service just to see if I could give my friend some information. Account in question is a Bank of America business bank account for a Property LLC company in Miami, Florida. Account was opened in 2009 at Bank Of America under a property LLC company by Joana for Fake (who is Joana's brother in law). Joana did it without hesitation considering family ties, but it is only recently that Joana decided to check the account. Joana was never involved with the property LLC, but she noted that over the years Fake used this account for personal financial transactions amounting to over $2 million of deposits. In addition, Fake even added another family member (let us use name Rose) as a co-signer on the account to have Rose sign and perform Fake's personal transactions since Fake's name was not listed on account. Now Joana has asked Fake to sign an indemnity letter to show proof that Joana has never had any ownership or responsibility for this account. Joana is afraid IRS may do an audit since Joana never declared this account in the tax returns. Fake has not yet responded or signed the document.

Okay, no problem. First of all, let us say Fake refuses to sign. That is okay. Joana can then go to the bank, pull all the records for herself (including who withdrew, etc), and then take her name off the account. If she wants to.

If the IRS audit her, she can simply explain what happened to the IRS. it is that simple. The IRS will then shift the investigation unto Fake, the bank, and other parties to confirm her story. There is really nothing else to do at this time.

"I STRIVE FOR FIVE!" My goal is to answer your question to your satisfaction. Please rate with five stars (★★★★★) and click SEND. It does not cost anything extra to rate. You may need to scroll left/right/up/down to see these stars. Rating my answer the bottom two stars or failing to submit the rating reflects poorly on me, even if my answer is correct. If you are not satisfied for whatever reason, or, have follow up questions, please simply reply with SEND before or after rating and let's continue to chat until you are satisfied. This is what I am here for.

Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 103,583
Experience: Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
This is perfect. Thanks!
Customer reply replied 3 months ago
5 stars

Thanks - good luck.

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
If my friend wants to consult you further in the future, can friend go to my link and pay the $59?

The phone call? Yes. Or he can simply follow up free of charge on the thread.

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
Excellent. Thanks so much. I will tell my friend. Have a wonderful day.

No problem. Take care.

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DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

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