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Employer tried stealing from me and still failed to withhold

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Latest post Sun, Jan 24 2016 9:52 AM by cbg. 19 replies.
  • Fri, Jan 22 2016 5:07 AM

    Employer tried stealing from me and still failed to withhold

    I work for a small business, a drive thru. After recieveing my w2s, I knew something was wrong. There were no federal taxes withheld. My boss pays me in cash and only provides pay stubs if you request them. I never felt it was needed, however, I have the first pay stub he gave me when placed on payroll. I work 37 hours a week at 8.50 and get paid in cash every Saturday. However, when my w2s were incorrect, I requested pay stubs, which he did not want to give me. I found that he was reporting my 37 hours as bi-monthly. So every 13 days or 17 days he claimed I only work 37 hours, not true, I work 37 hours every 7 days. I also noticed he claimed 2 dependents which I never claimed or told him to claim 2 dependents and I know I never filled out a form claiming to do so. When I first questioned him, he told me oh well, the past is the past. Needless to say, I was very upset. The next day, I go into work and he has already cut my hours and scratched me off the schedule. I grabbed schedule off wall and took it home to make a copy planning to report him to labor board because now he is going to slowly cut my hours to get rid of me. This scared him and he went back and changed my w2s, said he had to pay in$790 to fix it because "his payroll missed 440 hours". However, he still did not take any federal from me and I did not claim 2 dependents. I hope I explained this well enough. It is plain as day that he was padding the books and taking my tax money but was putting it in his pocket. He only recently fixed it but refuses to fix the 2 dependents and federal, he says I got the money in my check and I would have to pay into federal. He was trying to steal from me but when I caught it he is trying to cover his butt so to speak. I have all the paperwork to prove it, is there anything I can do. If he paid my taxes properly, I would be getting a 2100$ tax return but now I only get $400. 

     

  • Fri, Jan 22 2016 7:15 AM In reply to

    • Drew
      Consumer
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    • Joined on Thu, Mar 30 2000
    • PA
    • Posts 51,431

    Re: Employer tried stealing from me and still failed to withhold

    I'm not sure if you didn't pay in a that you are entitled to anything back..that part does not make sense .

    But there are probably lots of things wrong...and while I may know some places to look, I'm out of date with details ....in general if an employer cut corners they probably " forgot" things like UC and WC as well..and accurate payroll may be an issue IF WC or UC come up.

    Often a major cut in hours triggers eligibility for some UC ...but OH has some minimum earnings to be met and failure to report them may require reconstructing the correct numbers .    Don't rush to "quit" 

    A retialiatory cut or termination for having addressed payroll errors may also be grounds to collect UC...I don't know .but look. 

    Probably smart to be seeking employment with a more ethical employer ....paying people off the books seems like a nice game...but it can backfire and hurt .....and I ve had friends with serious medical problems have serious problems SS coverage due to " holes" in their work history ....and I suspect if you got injured at this job you might have serious problems with WC coverage ........and besides....working off the books or partially off the books is illegal....



  • Fri, Jan 22 2016 9:18 AM In reply to

    Re: Employer tried stealing from me and still failed to withhold

    kmarshall937:
    I have all the paperwork to prove it, is there anything I can do. If he paid my taxes properly, I would be getting a 2100$ tax return but now I only get $400.

    Did he actually withhold anything for federal income tax? That is, did he really deduct anything from the pay you actually have received for federal income tax withholding? If not then there isn’t anything to do about this part of the problem because he gave you the money in cash that otherwise would have been withheld. So, instead of getting that money in a tax refund you got in cash when your wages were paid to you.

    For the future make sure that you submit a Form W-4 to the employer showing the dependents you claim, etc, and that you keep a copy of what you provided to the employer. Then make sure you get and keep paystubs from the employer. The employer is legally obligated in most states to provide you that. Finally, take a look at each paystub when you get it to see that the pay and withholding is correct. If there is a problem, notify the employer to get it corrected right away. It's far easier to fix these problems right as they occur rather than waiting. In order to verify the withholding taken is correct you can read the rules employers are to use to compute the amounts withheld in IRS Publication 15 (also known as Circular E).

  • Fri, Jan 22 2016 9:56 AM In reply to

    Re: Employer tried stealing from me and still failed to withhold

    kmarshall937:
    It is plain as day that he was padding the books and taking my tax money but was putting it in his pocket.

    That's actually not clear from your description of events.  Another equally plausible interpretation is that he doesn't KNOW how to handle these withholdings correctly and is too cheap to hire someone to do it for him.

    To know whether he is stealing from you, you need to add up the money he paid you and the money your W-2 shows he withheld.  If the sum equals your hours worked times your pay rate, then he has not been "padding his pockets" - at least not at your expense.

    If he didn't withhold enough for Social Security and Medicare (the two together should equal 7.65% of your gross), that might mean he also didn't pay the full employer's share (also equal to 7.65% of your gross pay) into the system, since having the two amounts different would be seen by the SSA as a big flag that he might not be doing it right.

    If there were amounts withheld for things like insurance premiums or retirement-plan contributions, you'd want to make sure they were legit (the money really did go where it was supposed to), of course.

    Taxagent is right that you should give your employer a signed W-4 at the beginning of the year if you want your employer to follow your instructions about withholding.  Here's a link to the 2016 W-4 form online, since your employer doesn't seem to have given you one.  I think it's too late to go back and change what's already been done, though.

  • Fri, Jan 22 2016 11:10 AM In reply to

    Re: Employer tried stealing from me and still failed to withhold

    I have pay stubs that show he was only reporting my weekly wages bi-monthly. So every week I work 37 hours at 8.50, he reported 37 hours at 8.50 either every 18 days or every 13 days. However, I receive assistance. He filled out a paper for Job and Family services my correct wages, 37 hours @ 8.50 weekly, his handwriting. How is this not proof? 

  • Fri, Jan 22 2016 11:13 AM In reply to

    Re: Employer tried stealing from me and still failed to with...

    I understand he gave them to me weekly, however, that is his mistake. Also, how is it possible for him to claim 2 dependents when I did no such thing? I will have 2 W2s with 2 completely different wages on them. Since he reported my weekly wages as bi-monthly wages, yes,it took no federal. However, when corrected it shows that he should have, even more with no dependents.

  • Fri, Jan 22 2016 11:17 AM In reply to

    Re: Employer tried stealing from me and still failed to with...

    He has also, since telling him something was wrong, has cut my hours. He has told me plenty of times that he does not fire people, he cuts their hours so they receive no unemployment and/or quit. He made these so called mistakes, now I'm out of a tax return, hours, and will eventually lose my job.

  • Fri, Jan 22 2016 4:19 PM In reply to

    • Drew
      Consumer
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on Thu, Mar 30 2000
    • PA
    • Posts 51,431

    Re: Employer tried stealing from me and still failed to with...

    If your hours were cut more than say 20% Is check the math and issues about filing for partial UC in Ohio....if you appear to qualify when correct hours are applied,,then file?

     



  • Fri, Jan 22 2016 8:32 PM In reply to

    Re: Employer tried stealing from me and still failed to with...

    kmarshall937:
    I will have 2 W2s with 2 completely different wages on them.

    Huh?  How many W-2's has your employer actually given you for 2015?  I had the impression that he gave you only one W-2.  Is that not correct?

    Assuming he did only give you one W-2, were the gross wages listed on it correct for the year or not?  BTW, my employer goes by the date my wages were PAID (not earned), so my pay for the last pay period in each year is included in the following year's earnings.  It's possible your employer does it the same way.

    kmarshall937:
    Since he reported my weekly wages as bi-monthly wages

    On the W-2, or only on the pay stubs he gave you?  The pay stubs don't really count.  Apparently Ohio law does not require employers to give employees pay stubs at all.

    kmarshall937:
    yes,it took no federal. However, when corrected it shows that he should have, even more with no dependents.

    When I looked it up in the tax tables in Publication 15, no income tax has to be withheld from a single person's $310-$320 weekly gross wage if the number of withholding allowances is 4 or greater.  Form W-4 gives you two allowances even if you claim no dependents (one on line A and one on line B), so claiming two dependents gets you to 4 allowances and zero income tax withholding.

    It sounds like your employer might be more lazy than greedy.

    The question that you didn't ask but that you should probably look into is what did he do about the Social Security and Medicare taxes?  He should have withheld $19.50 for Social Security tax and $4.56 for Medicare tax from each week's pay (resulting in your being paid $290.44 each Saturday).  Did he do that?  And does the W-2 show those figures?

  • Sat, Jan 23 2016 7:56 AM In reply to

    Re: Employer tried stealing from me and still failed to with...

    kmarshall937:
    He has also, since telling him something was wrong, has cut my hours.

    If you accused him of "padding his pockets," or made it sufficiently clear that that is what you thought, then it's not surprising if he's no longer happy to have you working for him.  If it turns out that he did not cheat you out of anything, maybe you could try apologizing to him.  FYI, withholding the wrong amount for taxes does not constitute cheating you, especially in the absence of any signed W-4 from you.

    Also FYI, if and when interest rates go up, you will be financially ahead if you set your withholdings to pay only what you owe (thus minimizing the amount of your tax refund), and put the money in a savings account every month instead of giving Uncle Sam an interest-free loan.

  • Sat, Jan 23 2016 5:26 PM In reply to

    Re: Employer tried stealing from me and still failed to with...

    He has given me two W2s. First one stated 3774 in wages, federal withheld 0, social security withheld 233.99, medicare withheld 54.72, state tax withheld 22.50, local tax withheld 75.48. The second stated 7548 in wages, social security withheld 467.98, medicare withheld 109.45, state tax withheld (still) 22.50, local tax withheld 150.96. Ok now my paychecks state no federal, 19.50 social security, 4.56 medicare, 1.87 oh state tax, 6.29 local tax (Springfield), however, this these pay stubs are dated bi-monthly, which these are my taxes taken from my weekly pay.

  • Sat, Jan 23 2016 5:30 PM In reply to

    Re: Employer tried stealing from me and still failed to with...

    I did not accuse him of padding the books to his face, I only told him that they were wrong in which he responded "The past is the past, there is nothing I can do about it". The next day he stated he would have a revised W2 for me but I was already scratched off the schedule. I did nothing wrong to apologize for.

  • Sat, Jan 23 2016 6:27 PM In reply to

    • Drew
      Consumer
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on Thu, Mar 30 2000
    • PA
    • Posts 51,431

    Re: Employer tried stealing from me and still failed to with...

    did you earn about $11,000 in 2015.....are the 2 w-2's together about right? 



  • Sat, Jan 23 2016 7:59 PM In reply to

    Re: Employer tried stealing from me and still failed to with...

    kmarshall937:
    He has given me two W2s. First one stated 3774 in wages, federal withheld 0, social security withheld 233.99, medicare withheld 54.72, state tax withheld 22.50, local tax withheld 75.48. The second stated 7548 in wages, social security withheld 467.98, medicare withheld 109.45, state tax withheld (still) 22.50, local tax withheld 150.96.

    If you actually worked 24 weeks in 2015 and were paid $282.28 cash for each of those weeks, then that 2nd (corrected) W-2 seems OK.

  • Sat, Jan 23 2016 8:10 PM In reply to

    Re: Employer tried stealing from me and still failed to with...

    kmarshall937:
    I did not accuse him of padding the books to his face, I only told him that they were wrong

    Your initial post here made it pretty clear what you thought, so it's certainly possible that he picked up on a vibe even though you didn't accuse him of anything to his face.  In any case, it seems he now wants you to leave, so it would be a good idea to look for another job at this point.

    U.S. law isn't very "fair" in that employers can legally let people go for almost any reason or no reason at all.  There are limited exceptions (race, sex, disability, etc.), but you have to prove that he let you go or retaliated against you for one of those prohibited reasons, and that's usually quite difficult to do.

    Anyway, best of luck.  Hope you find a better job with a better boss.

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