Saturn In Scorpio – None Of It’s Comfortable, You Still Have To Choose

askcollectivefinal8Awhile back I had a client who had a friend who needed a job. My client had a job to give her, but the gal wanted to be paid under the table, because she was collecting unemployment.

Problem with this is that my client wanted the tax deduction for her business.  If she was going to agree to do this, it seemed fair the gal work for roughly 30% less then what she’d be paid otherwise, to offset the loss of the tax deduction for my client.  Can you see how squirmy this is?

My client is a taxpayer, so she’s not too keen on people milking the system. Bur who wants to go their friend and say, “Sure, I’ll do it. But you’ll have to take a cut in pay?”

She has the option of not hiring the friend, but then she has to come up with an explanation as to why she’s decided to choose another candidate. An explanation that would not offend this gal whom she really does like!

What gets me about this scenario is the client comes up the bad guy, no matter what. Oddly, the gal who is unethical comes out looking clean in comparison.

What would you do?


Comments

Saturn In Scorpio – None Of It’s Comfortable, You Still Have To Choose — 35 Comments

  1. With Saturn is Scorpio, I wouldn’t be joking around with the taxes; as we all know, only two certain things in the world are death and taxes :)

    • I agree with you on that one Danka!

      If I was the business owner, I would let that person know that as tempting as the offer may sound, there is a point where you have to draw the line. The person “working the system” is not taking on the risk that the business owner would be taking on.

      To the business owner: don’t let them talk you into it!

  2. If I was hesitant about it, I would not do it. Peace of mind is worth it. I have been asked to participate in this kind of scam by employers. I do not like messy books. So I would not do it. What’s the benefit? The work is there it sounds like, if she wants to be hired. Some people are always on the scam. It’s just me, but I would tell the friend, I like clean books because I am held accountable for what goes on in my business. I doubt that the person who is just looking for more money really understands the implications. That person only sees dollar signs.

  3. I’m going to sound like some self-righteous, pompous person, but here goes anyway.

    You said, “What gets me about this scenario is the client comes up the bad guy, no matter what. Oddly, the gal who is unethical comes out looking clean in comparison.”

    “Looking clean” is irrelevant. The gal who is “unethical” isn’t just that – what she’s doing is illegal. And what sort of “friend” expects her friend to do something illegal which could damage her personally and professionally?

    The answer is simple – No; nothing off the books. The only question here is how your client wishes to phrase it.

  4. I’d tell her that regardless of the friendship, business is business & I’d need to claim her payment on my tax. I’d be happy to offer her the job, but she’d have to take 30% less. Otherwise, though I’d like to, I couldn’t take her on. Then, it’s up to her.

    I’d explain that it’s awkward for sure, but it’s better to be upfront & reach a straight agreement or one will end up resenting the other & the working relationship would already be stuffed.

  5. Typing from a phone her so apologies for sloppy typos….
    I am a business owner too. I would say to my friend, “look, I have the dept of commerce and the irs on my ass all the time. I would love to offer you the job but it has to be on the table. Period. This is my livelihood and I can’t afford the penalties, fees and possible shutdown of my business by breaking the law. I am sure you understand that if I offer the job to someone else its because they are willing to comply with their legal obligations. So if you can handle the proper onboarding procedure and accept the above the table proper w2 procedure we can go forward. Otherwise you will just have to be ok that I hire someone else.”

    The only other way for this to work is offer a 1099 contractor arrangement so that the friend has to report the income…your client needs to review with their cpa for clariry. I hope that is helpful feedback.

  6. I would not hire the person, saying that the applicant was not a good fit for the culture of the company. Jobs are a lot like relationships, and compatibility matters.
    It’s important to accept small financial dips that are temporary, it’s better than taking shortcuts and winding up with huge losses. Setting boundaries matters…

  7. Btw…your client should not explain anything regarding tax benefits for her own company when hiring anyone. The less said the better because the client has the power to set boundaries here and there is NO room for negotiation.

  8. Having worked under the table myself and being exposed to businesses where this is SOP (even if illegal), it’s standard that when you’re under the table you take a pay cut. It’s kind of understood, though I have had employers outright say to me, “I can give you (X amount), or you can take (Y, lower amount) under the table.”

    If I owned a business, there’d be no way in hell I’d hire people under the table. If they have a situation where they need this, that, or the other because of their government benefits (food stamps, disability, whatever) then I’d work with them — but I’m not risking my livelihood so they can pull one over. NUH-UH, not gonna happen!

    • Actually, my very first job was under the table. :) The florist next to my house would give me $5/hr to help her with paperwork after school so I could be out of my house; I was 12. ;)

  9. I also liked what Sarah said. Definitely, under this sky, keep your house/work clean if at all possible. This kind of stuff happens to me all the time. I end up looking the bad guy (yeah, I’ve got a 12th house sun with Neptune & plenty of Pluto aspects). It’s taken me a long time to realize that looks can be deceiving. Besides, what kind of ‘friend’ asks you to go to an extent that could cost you your business, your freedom, your life?
    Angie

  10. Depends. If it was my Virgo best friend I would totally do it. I wouldn’t compromise my integrity for anyone else. Except for her and my son.

  11. Another issue is that the friend wouldn’t fit the culture of the business because if they want to break the rules at the outset they’ll probably want special treatment and/or to break or bend the rules and procedures in other ways. A pain all the way around. ;)

  12. Right on karen, it’s the best story. and so here’s mine:

    I am compelled to point out that an income tax is not necessarily a legal mandate in the USA. I’ve never seen a federal bill or law requiring it. Has anyone else? I have, however, known people to quit IRS work after spending years searching in vain for the truth.

    The situation described above could definitely become very sticky, but is really just another example of the current state of our disorganized affairs. And p.s. why should we pay taxes again? So that high-end politicians can have extra paid time off at the expense of social programs and lower-level government employees? The best part: the system’s not broken. It’s manipulative and it serves those who use it according to it’s design. sheesh, can we take the power back yet?

  13. My client had a job to give her, but the gal wanted to be paid under the table, because she was collecting unemployment.

    No.

    What would you do?

    It’s stealing. “No, I will not pay you under the table to help you cheat on unemployment.”

    If it’s not full-time long-term employment and the lady was going to be paid as an independent contractor (which is kind of a scam itself) she could probably collect the cash and still get unemployment, but if it’s any kind of full-time job then NO. ‘No, I will not help you steal.’

    (A one-off week of employment that then ends could be handled on an independent contractor basis – I could see working around that since the lady is going to go back to being unemployed, so it wouldn’t be a big deal.)

    I am a strong supporter of unemployment insurance and food stamps, but if someone is actually trying to abuse the system, I would see it as my duty to oppose them. That is how you actually stop ‘waste, fraud and abuse’.

    max
    ['You could say she was trying to steal from the taxpayers, but they would probably be paying out the money to the unemployed anyways. She's stealing from the other unemployed people who cannot actually get jobs. And I see that as the equivalent of running down the street, beating up homeless guys and stealing the change they've begged. Which is pretty damn dirtbaggy.']

  14. I also own a business. I am very careful to the T with the way the money is handled. There is NO way I would ever do it for a friend or family. If my family need something all they need to do is ask. I am not cooking any books to help someone make extra money instead of looking for work.

    My kids help me from time to time but they do it because I help them. I am not paying them a dime nor do they pay me a dime when I buy their kids clothes or keep them in school. And if a friend asked me to do it I would wonder what kind of friend they could be. Don’t ask me to do something illegal for you. If you do I will wonder if I ever really knew me at all.

    I big NO to that. No way. I know this kind of thing goes on all the time and I am not passing judgment but its not for me….I would never do it. Saturn doesn’t have to be in Scorpio for me to refrain.

  15. I wouldn’t do it.
    A long time ago (22 years) I was working as the office administrator for a small non-profit business. The owner also had a full-time sales job, so he would just drop into the office when he had time. When I was hired, it was under a grant that my boss had gotten from the government, and it was decent pay at the time. The first summer I worked there, though, my boss wanted to hire a student under a government program (which would pay for the student’s wages) — unfortunately, the young man he hired took exception to something my boss said to him, and quit. My boss wanted me to keep filling out the gov’t forms to indicate that we still had this student working for us, and I refused. He didn’t hire a replacement. Now my former boss apparently runs a property management company here in the city where I now live, He has developed a bad reputation for not paying for things, scamming people for items, etc. Coincidentally (or not) the woman I’m taking to court, the one who manipulated my father into giving her so much money, works for a property management company as the bookkeeper. Wouldn’t it just be something if she works for my old boss? They’re both unethical so it wouldn’t surprise me at all.

  16. This may have already been pointed out but the girl who wants to be paid under the table is in the wrong. As the Bible says, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s”.

    I am aware that working off the books can be beneficial to everyone, nonetheless it reaps bad karma at some point, surely.

  17. I think this is just more of the growing pains as we transition to more black market or gray market kind of stuff. The problem is that the rules of the “new” game are not clear to all parties involved. This requires some level of negotiation and risk during said negotiation.

    Paying someone as a 1099 is a risk, how much does that risk cost? Paying someone under the table entails risk, how much risk and how much to each party and how does that adjust the price?

    I kind of find it funny in a sense, we’re all innocent in the world of gray market negotiations. You have someone who is currently above board but considering it because of the savings they see. I guess my question to your client is what happens when that person’s unemployment runs out? What will the employee expect then? How long is the relationship going to continue? What are the long-term impacts to the relationship if this is/is not negotiated?

    I’ve paid people under the table. Family in need of help willing to come over and help me remodel the house. I also send them home with extra food. I feel totally comfortable with that and don’t see the tax issue, mostly because it IS family and they DO need help.

    • There is also a yearly gifting allowance, I think of $11,000, that does not need to be reported. Like I said. Last time I checked. It’s been a while. I’m still cleansing from the financial field nightmares and corruption of yor.

  18. Something weird is goin on with this. It happened last week and I just got more details today. It’s a fairly large organization with some corruption problems. Fixable. Do-able. But they disbanded the organization instead. Apparently they don’t want rules. If they can’t play the ‘buy and sell friends’ and all the adrenaline that goes with that game, it ain’t worth it. I am so outmoded. Working together to provide products and services that people use is no longer a worthy goal.

  19. While I can see how that appears, I have to disagree. I think the friend who is asking for her cake and to eat it too is the “bad” guy and the business owner needs to be very clear about whatever her boundaries are and have them explained so that it is not her friend she is against, but the policy she wishes to have. If she takes it personally, then she is not a friend :-)

  20. This wouldn’t be a problem for me, my ethics are non-negotiable. Anybody who befriends me knows this, and if they don’t, they will learn it soon enough. Yeah, I’m kind of a hard-ass but oh well. I’m not going to do something that is potentially risky for me. She can take risks with her own finances if she likes but I’m not getting involved. End of story. I don’t think the client ends up looking like the bad guy here.

  21. I wouldn’t be able to do it. Not only is it illegal, it’d be touching on old dynamics I’d rather not be a part of again (Pluto in the 11th). I’d rather stay aboveboard where the lines are clear.

    • I have an 11th house Pluto and though no placement of Pluto is easy, I’ve found that friendships, groups (spiritual mostly for me) and hopes wishes etc. are all profoundly challenged. I’m the type of person that likes to keep people in my life but I’ve come to realize that many enter, have a huge impact and move on. The point is to transform with respect to those (and all) issues.

  22. I don’t see your client as looking like the bad guy, nor the friend as looking good. This is all just business…so the objective is to come to an agreement that works for both parties, and if that isn’t possible (if one person doesn’t want the cost or risk, and/or if the other person feels undervalued or short changed), then both parties walk away.

  23. friends or no friends … this is illegal … also your client would be doing a much bigger favour to the girl whos collecting unemployment … but its nice to see people having the same experiences all over the world :) … hustlin

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