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1099 for your valentine: How one man redefined 'working girl'

When is a tax accountant also a relationship counselor? When your boyfriend 1099's you. Howard Shih is involved in tax court proceedings over the questionable use of the term "wages" to refer to payments he made to his girlfriend in 2005. Jue-ya Yang moved into his house at some point during the year, and though she had no skills or experience pertaining to his work (as an artist and calligrapher), Howard noted on checks he gave her for spending money "salary" or "wages."

That should have been her first clue. Later, he reported the money he'd paid her, $10,500 in all, on a 1099-MISC form. Eventually Yang was asked to pay taxes on that $10,500 (and another $40,000 of unreported income that she didn't dispute, did she have other boyfriends for whom she did work, I wonder?), and complained to the tax commissioner that the money from Shih was, in fact, a gift.

Tax court ruled in her favor, though she still owes taxes on the $40,000 not in dispute. There is no evidence of why the two broke up; I'm thinking irreconcilable tax brackets may have been a factor.

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