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Roofing Sage
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Question:
How many of you use or have used illegals to work for you or have paid men
(or women) to work for you "off the books"?


I'll go first. :thumbup:

Me. :clap:

:thumbsup:
 

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When I first started I had a helper I paid in cash(off the books). Did it for about a month. It always bothered me, but at the time I was having a hard time getting comp. When I finally found a comp company that would write me, and finance the costs, I was all done with off the books.

Around here most contractors mis classify everyone as subs. Being legit is not the norm.
Thing is, they think what they are doing is legal.
 

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Roofing Sage
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It's hard to do everything "right" (at least where I worked).

Workman's Comp for me alone was $18,000./yr (but I got lucky and got into the state's comp system which turned out to be $8000.).

Meanwhile, I know for a fact that all the so-called "Roofers" where I worked were ALLL listed as "General Contractors" and carried painter's insurance and not one listed themselves as sole roofers (even though that's what they did).

They'd use two names...one to advertise with "BlahBlahBlah Roofing" and then would have another name at The Department of Consumer Protection (like BlahBlahBlah Services or Maintenance or Contracting, etc...). And these were the BIGGEST companies in the region with dual full page ads in the Yellow Pages when that'd cost you $150,000./year.

But hey, they got away with it (they were members of The Chamber of Commerce even).
 

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Closest that I come is when I'm roofing. I have a couple of "subs" that I use. I have 1 or 2 that I use for tear off and 1 that I use for clean up. They both know how much they are going to make before the job starts.
 

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I've never paid cash yet, although never say never. I have had illegal aliens work for me in the past. However they have come to me with all the proper paper work and state isued ID's, which I am required to ask for and collect copies of. I would withold taxes etc through my pay roll service, and after the first quarterly filing I'd get a notice in the mail stating their information is incorrect. I'd let them know their papers don't match and that'd usually be the last day I would see them.

I did everything right for 5 years and have nothing to show for it. I paid out more in taxes than I earned. I paid out more in insurance than I earned. It makes me sick that what I was paying out JUST for unemployment isnurance was greater than my own personal earnings. 9% of payroll to cover unemployment. Everyone around me is cheating. After I sell a job and pay my dues, there is nothing left for me. The profit in our business is in the cheat. I'm just plain sick of it. Anyone want to buy a business with well established websites and ongoing free leads through those websites? I'll work as a commissioned sales rep. Believe it or not, I don't, but on paper we are profitable. Although on paper it says we are profitable, I haven't ever seen this elusive mythical profit in my pocket.

I know of at least one company that has 40 guys, but on paper has 4. He cashes his checks at the currency exchanges and pays damned near everyone with cash. Most of his guys are for sure illegal aliens. By my calculations, he's pocketing well over $100k extra a year just by doing this.
 

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We pay a couple friends to help once in awhile when they are laid off. Nothing big though. 98% of the time it is just the two of us making an honest living. Never an illegal alien. If I did that, I may as well have them smuggle some drugs in and sell them too.

I agree with Grumpy, even though we operate much different, we both try to do things right, nothing good in return, and the guys who go against the law flourish. The problem is our government. If they would enforce the laws we have, the people in this country would have jobs.
 

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In lieu of post 5, I'll explain...

I used a guy, who when I paid him his first check. Choose that time to inform me, he was collecting dis-ability. Cash only for him. Needless to say, that was the end of him.

Am I guilty... yep.. probably. Letter of the law, anyway.

I actually went to the local Federal Building a couple weeks after that, asking about employee, 1099, and casual labor, laws... Not as clear cut as I thought... I could right pages and pages about all the conflicting info I collected. Even the IRS clerk, agreed it's a mess.

One of the questions I asked her was "What if I hire someone in the Spring. When I hire him he claims to be an independent contractor. I pay him more than I would an employee, in the belief that he's going to cover his own labor burden. At the end of the year, when its time to fill out the 1099, he claims he's an employee, and I should of done withholdings" On this she said, I would be in the right, cause the contractor knew I wasn't taking out withholdings. Personally I think I'd be screwed.

Being totally legal is the goal... and its a hell of a slippery slope to climb. I think I'm there, but... Im not totally comfortable yet.

Brought this up, in another thread... Kind of a tangent, sorry. What's up with all the "laid off" workers replying to help wanted ads? Some of these guys are even Union workers. Im not naive enough to be surprised, but wow does that get my undies in a bunch. These guys want to collect unemployment, and take another person's job at the same time? Heh, when they go back to their commercial jobs, they'll probably thank me by calling me a "scab"... :blink:
 

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There is an IRS checklist to determine sub or employee. If someone works for you from time to time and also works for other contractors you can get around them being anemployee. I suggest anyone using independant contractors have them sign a document stating as such. That will certainly help you should you ever be audited. If they didn't pay your taxes, you have a form stating they are independant, the form will say they are liable for their own taxes, and further more if you generate a 1099 you are better covering your arse.

I too use independants/part timers as necessary. Let's say we have a big tear off job and needs some strong backs to help us get the old roof out of the way for the new roof... Great time to pick up some temporary help for a day or two.
 

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With all the laws and rules, I am not sure if it is possible to do everything by the books for your whole life without missing something.

When I first found out how much an employee costs ON TOP of what he/she is already paid, I had to go home to change my underwear. Makes it simple to understand how hard it is for small business to stay IN business.
 

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When I first found out how much an employee costs ON TOP of what he/she is already paid, I had to go home to change my underwear. Makes it simple to understand how hard it is for small business to stay IN business.
Exactly.

That's why we don't have any employees. You have to have too many jobs in a metro area to keep busy enough. The bigger honest working(if there are any) companies eventually go broke because of all the dishonest companies. With what we are already required to give employees, I don't see how anyone makes it outside of Union Government (tax money) work.

It doesn't help that when a storm hits, 100 new contractors are in a small town, each with 5-15 illegals, and they do every job in town. I saw some going house to house in a neighborhood in the same day siding them. When they finished, they sat around in a huddle and smoked (cigarettes) :whistling
 

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Roofing Sage
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I've never paid cash yet, although never say never. I have had illegal aliens work for me in the past. However they have come to me with all the proper paper work and state isued ID's, which I am required to ask for and collect copies of. I would withold taxes etc through my pay roll service, and after the first quarterly filing I'd get a notice in the mail stating their information is incorrect. I'd let them know their papers don't match and that'd usually be the last day I would see them.

I did everything right for 5 years and have nothing to show for it. I paid out more in taxes than I earned. I paid out more in insurance than I earned. It makes me sick that what I was paying out JUST for unemployment isnurance was greater than my own personal earnings. 9% of payroll to cover unemployment. Everyone around me is cheating. After I sell a job and pay my dues, there is nothing left for me. The profit in our business is in the cheat. I'm just plain sick of it. Anyone want to buy a business with well established websites and ongoing free leads through those websites? I'll work as a commissioned sales rep. Believe it or not, I don't, but on paper we are profitable. Although on paper it says we are profitable, I haven't ever seen this elusive mythical profit in my pocket.

I know of at least one company that has 40 guys, but on paper has 4. He cashes his checks at the currency exchanges and pays damned near everyone with cash. Most of his guys are for sure illegal aliens. By my calculations, he's pocketing well over $100k extra a year just by doing this.
And that's why I left NY.

Same B.S..

I don't blame any man that is desperate and that wants to earn an honest living by working for it (better than all the Americans on welfare doing nothing for a check). I know many that use Tax Payer I.D.'s and that pay taxes with that and that contribute to the society that allows them to work.

I blame the Government for allowing them to come in in the first place.
I blame the Contractors for not offering the illegals sponsorship.
I blame the "system" in general that allows the unethical Contractors get away with murder.
 
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