Monday, September 24, 2012

Under the Spotlight

* With the entire country looking at Republican candidate Josh Mandel, it is not surprising that some items will come under scrutiny. Salon has an article questioning Josh Mandel's classification of some of his employees.


As the presidential candidates make tax policy personal, the same thing is happening in Ohio, where Sen. Sherrod Brown’s campaign is accusing his Republican challenger, Josh Mandel, of bilking the same state treasury he runs. As Mandel ran for state treasurer in 2010, he classified at least nine of his senior staffers as independent contractors instead of full-time employees, according to campaign finance disclosures reviewed by Salon, which allowed him to forgo paying some taxes to the state and the IRS.

Classifying workers as contractors instead of employees gives employers more flexibility and lower costs, as there’s no legal requirement for them to provide health benefits or withhold payroll (Social Security) and Medicare taxes. Contractors are supposed to have their own businesses and provide discrete skills, but that norm is often abused by employers who fill positions at lower costs that should be occupied by full-time employees. Employment law prohibits misclassification, and employers who engage in it with “no reasonable basis for doing so … may be held liable for employment taxes for that worker,” according to the IRS.

However, the line between who should be classified as an independent contractor and who must be classified as an employee can be murky. “[E]very individual who performs services subject to either the control and/or will of an employer, both as to what shall be done and how it shall be done, is an employee,” according to the Ohio Department of Taxation.....

Very interesting.  Josh Mandel is probably running to his puppet masters to find out what to say.

A new poll in Ohio shows Sen. Sherrod Brown with a solid lead over perpetual Republican candidate, Josh Mandel.  TalkingPointsMemo has all the polls for the U.S. Senate for Ohio.

Guess which Ohio Treasurer wasn't at work this afternoon?