Friday, August 08, 2008


Oh for fucks sake. I finally got around to calculating my hourly wage after taking out taxes. I only get to keep 67% of what I gross an hour.

I'm now even more angry than usual about not having universal health care....because if I calculate my health insurance premiums on the 10k deductible policy I'm currently carrying into my hourly wage, it's even more depressing. If I fall off a ladder, I'm screwed any way you look at it.

I'm technically self employed, at least as far as the IRS knows. I work for a company that gives us 1099's, not 1040s. Yet we're all told what time to show up, when to leave, and we're generally expected to behave as employees. Yet we have to carry our own contractor insurance, pay self employment taxes, etc.

The boss is renting a boat for 3 hours this Thursday as an employee appreciation event. There will be water skiing and beer. We were told to bring 10 bucks a person to cover said boat and beer. At the appreciation event. I feel appreciated.....


Calvin said...

Heather, please be careful about this one. This situation is an exception to the "what you sign is what you get" rule. My oldest brother was in your situation. When the IRS moved in on the employer, he had to pay three years of back income taxes.

The IRS really lowered the boom on the employer, who was an old friend of his, but my brother still had to pay all of the taxes. He was an employee because the employer controlled his work exactly as you describe. What was on paper does not count for the IRS in this situation. They look at it the same way I do: an employer trying to get out of the responsibilities of having employees.


Anonymous said...

Things do suck now a days, i recall making more hourly in the 1980's and in the 1970's health insurance was free or nearly free even for most lowly jobs, like fast food joints. Wages have been stagnant in a lot of areas of the US for too long, factor in insurance and real take home pay is about half of what it was 3o years ago. It would be cool if all americans would just stay home for two weeks, and not pay their bills for a month, just to let the higher ups know who pays their salaries.

Matt and Lindsay Alexander said...

This has nothing to do with your taxes blog (although taxes and the lack of universal heathcare is a MAJOR thorn in my side also!) I just wanted to let you know your images and blog about building the cabin way back in the early 2000's has been such a hugh help to me. I'm building a 12'x24' house off the grid in northern minnesota and the images from your blog have really cleared up a lot of the steps! Thank you for putting them out on the web for others!!!

Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

This practice of having "employees" as self employed contract workers needs to be stopped. Businesses are doing this to avoid the expense, liability and risks of hiring employees. This is a common practice in the forest industry, I did not know it was the case in construction.

Neither of your Presidential contenders supports a single payer universal health care system, (like Canada) They both will just subsidize private insurers to cover more people. Good health care is a right not a privilege and the government needs to take over the responsibility for insuring it.

Anonymous said...

I'm for Universal health care, too. Why don't you look into Humana. I have a much lower deductible than you do, an entire family of 3, and I get preventative stuff covered before deductible.

Whatever you do, don't ever go with Assurant health. They will screw you out the ass. They screwed me when I had my daughter.