If my girlfriend’s family is illegal and decided they wanted to open a restaurant so had her apply for the permits/licenses since she is legal, does this break the law?

She is listed as the owner but her parents and brother run the restaurant and work within the business. Are they breaking IRS tax laws since income tax is not being taken out for these individuals due to their illegal status?

Asked on February 1, 2016 under Business Law, Tennessee


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Yes--this would be a violation of tax laws, since you *can't* work in the U.S. without withholding the appropriate amounts from payroll for taxes and without being able to issue a 1099 or W-2 at the end of the year...which you can't issue to illegals. (You'd also be violating state tax law as well as federal.) Not to put too fine a point on it, but "illegal" means what is sounds like: "not legal."

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