Friend without bank account wants me to deposit a gift check in my savings account. Will I be taxed for it or have other implications?

  • 2
    Is this in the US? Please tag with a country. Oct 2, 2015 at 15:17
  • yes, in US. Family friend and check is legit.
    – imsunshine
    Oct 2, 2015 at 15:59
  • Even if it was taxed, the person giving the gift gets taxed, not the recipient.
    – JohnFx
    Oct 2, 2015 at 20:32

2 Answers 2


The short answer is "no". Gifts below $14K are not subject to any reporting requirements (assuming you are in the US).

The long answer is a series of questions: Is this person well-known to you? Why aren't they using the money to open their own bank account? Do they want you to give them cash right away, or are they willing to wait until the check clears? Which is all to say that this sounds slightly fishy. Be careful you are not inadvertently participating in a money-laundering or fraud scheme.

  • 1
    5 seconds apart. +1 for you. Oct 2, 2015 at 15:24
  • 2
    @JoeTaxpayer Right back at you. We were thinking exactly the same thing--you just typed faster. ;) Oct 2, 2015 at 15:27
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    If he's suggesting that you'd get to keep any of the other half, this screams scam.
    – keshlam
    Oct 2, 2015 at 19:19
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    Why not just hold the physical check for him without depositing it, then give him the check back later. It makes sense if his only concern is self-restraint.
    – JohnFx
    Oct 2, 2015 at 20:31
  • 1
    If it really is a couple weeks then it's possibly not a scam. Do note that just because your bank gives you access to funds, doesn't mean the check actually cleared. But after a couple weeks it probably really has. Per @keshlam if he is letting you keep half, it does scream scam, but if he just wants you to hold on to it for him, less so. If you go with him to buy the car, that's less scammy too.
    – stannius
    Oct 3, 2015 at 8:46

The simple answer is "don't do it." He should take the check, open a bank account, and after it clears, he'll have his money. I'm not suggesting that this is some kind of scam. I'm sure that every day lots of unbanked people get $10,000 checks and friends are happy to clear those checks. But on the rare chance the sender of that check is untrustworthy, or simply overdrew their account, why risk this?

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