Oh, No He Didn’t! (Independent Contractor Vs. Employee)

I get a call Monday evening from from a 909 number I’ve never seen before, and because I know it belongs to someone in SoCal, I answer it.  I get calls from prospect clients enough to know to answer an area code that I recognize and know people who you live that area.  But this wasn’t a call from a client.  This was a call from a former boss.  A boss I didn’t like.  A boss whose company I stayed in for only 3 months.  A boss whose company I was happy to know crashed and burned.  Yeah, I didn’t like him.   He was too arrogant and too greedy.  Mistreated his clients.  He and his partner were downright awful.

Anyways, he calls me up out of the blue immediately asking for me.  I cannot place his voice.  It’s been years.  I’m thinking as he’s beginning to jog my memory, ‘who the hell is this?’  He’s like, “It’s Steve.  You use to work for me and Matt with Official Realty.”  I’m thinking, I’m thinking, I’m thinking — yes, that three month stint I did at Sing-Sing. ‘Hmm.  What the hell could he possibly what?’ He made idle chatter about how have I’ve been and what I was up to, then dove right into why he called.

“Listen Michelle, the reason I’m calling you is because [Matt and I are] being audited by the IRS and we wanted to know if they’ve reached out to by any chance.”  Inside I’m like, ‘YES!’  But I say, “Oh, really?”

“Yeah, because we assigned all of you as independent contractors, and we didn’t take out any taxes of [everyone’s paychecks].  The IRS is saying we misclassified you.  Now, they’re coming back at us through our former employees asking if they were really independent contractors or employees.  We’re just asking if they give you a call to let them know that you were an independent contractor and you worked from home.  It would save us all a lot of time and definitely having to paying more taxes.  I know you don’t want to pay more taxes, right Michelle?”

“No.  No, I don’t”  ‘Dumbass. You and Matt will be the only ones paying more taxes.  And Heavily.’  What he didn’t know is I know enough about tax penalties — my grandmother has been a tax preparer for over 30 years — to know he’s about to get his ass handed to him.  And those other people who worked there as well, do not give two shits about him or Matt.  This motherfu– should the IRS call me, I’m telling them EVERYTHING.  I don’t need to fight someone else’s battle with the IRS.  They should have done the right thing from jump.  Now they’re finding out they’re gonna have to pay the price.  Quite literally.

Did I tell Steve that?  Hell, no.  I want him to walk so blindly into that lion’s den, he can smell rotting flesh.   Little dramatic, I know.

Why did I end working for them?  At the time, I needed the job and I needed the money.  L.A. is a costly place to live in.  But I didn’t stay there long.  The day they “let me go”, was the same day I had accepted an offer from another company I interviewed with a couple of times the week before.

Should I have been forthcoming and honest with Steve about being honest with the IRS, should they give me a ring…?


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