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Lev
Lev, Tax Advisor
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 28084
Experience:  Taxes, Immigration, Labor Relations
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I work company in Louisiana that does not take out any state

Customer Question

I work for a company in Louisiana that does not take out any state or federal taxes, but they take 10% of my pay for what they call the tithe, and it goes back to my boss because he is the pastor of the church. It's a flooring company, and I install floor tile. I work hard, but I don't like being forced to pay a tithe. And I am concerned that my employer is not taking out the proper state and federal taxes. Is my employer breaking any laws? What should I do?
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  Lev replied 6 months ago.

First of all - we need to clarify if you are an employee or a self-employed contractor.

If you are an employee - your employer is REQUIRED to withhold taxes.

If you are a self-employed contractor - you are considered as running your own business - and that would be your responsibility to pay taxes.

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First of all - regarding your status as an employee vs self-employed contractor.

Regardless of what your contract states - that is determined by the law.

Facts that provide evidence of the degree of control and independence fall into three categories:

1.Behavioral: Does the company control or have the right to control what the worker does and how the worker does his or her job?

2.Financial: Are the business aspects of the worker s job controlled by the payer? (these include things like how worker is paid, whether expenses are reimbursed, who provides tools/supplies, etc.)

3.Type of Relationship: Are there written contracts or employee type benefits (i.e. pension plan, insurance, vacation pay, etc.)? Will the relationship continue and is the work performed a key aspect of the business?

Businesses must weigh all these factors when determining whether a worker is an employee or independent contractor. Some factors may indicate that the worker is an employee, while other factors indicate that the worker is an independent contractor.

There is no magic or set number of factors that makes the worker an employee or an independent contractor, and no one factor stands alone in making this determination. Also, factors which are relevant in one situation may not be relevant in another.

.

If, after reviewing the three categories of evidence, it is still unclear whether you are an employee or an independent contractor, Form SS8, Determination of Worker Status for Purposes of Federal Employment Taxes and Income Tax Withholding -

http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fss8.pdf

- can be filed with the IRS.The form may be filed by either the business or the worker.

The IRS will review the facts and circumstances and officially determine the worker s status.

Be aware that it can take at least six months to get a determination.

.

Another issue is related to your compensation...

If you are a self-employed contractor - the compensation is a civil matter between you and the payer.If you are an employee - in additional you are protected by the labor law - and may file a formal complain w the Labor department in your state government. In this case - the generally the amount of compensation stated in your contract should be your gross pay before any mandatory withholding.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Horrible answer. Good grief, did I just pay $45 dollars for this advice. I am not a contractor, and I need to know if it is illegal for my boss to take 10% of my paycheck to go towards my bosses church. If you can't answer that then give me a refund.
Expert:  Lev replied 6 months ago.

If you are an employee - it is not legal to make any withholding from your paychecks that are pot mandatory.

It is also illegal not to withhold employment and income taxes.

Employers may not impose fines on employees or deduct any amounts from their paychecks as fines unless the amount is for intentional.

You may file a formal complain to the Department of Labor.

New Orleans District Office
US Dept. of Labor
Wage & Hour Division
F. Edward Hebert Building
600 South Maestri Place
Room 615
New Orleans, LA 70130

Expert:  Lev replied 6 months ago.

.I appreciate if you take a moment to rate the answer.

Experts are ONLY credited when answers are rated positively.

If you still have any doubts, need clarification - please be sure to ask.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I asked you twice about my employer deducting a tithe from my paycheck, and twice you danced around my question. You never answered my direct question, so I demand a refund, and I will rate you at the lowest score possible.
Expert:  Lev replied 6 months ago.

I will simply opt out.
Please communicate with the customer service regarding your refund.