Sometimes Rumors Are True
Posted by David Keelan on Tuesday, August 14, 2007
I heard a rumor during the campaign for County Executive. It was September or October 2006. We got an anonymous email tip. Some of us discussed it and we said we couldn’t do anything with it because the tipster was anonymous, and wouldn’t follow up with us. We felt it was just too scandelous and hot to touch without proof. We even thought about giving it to a reporter and let them run with it (maybe it is time to reconsider that again). We didn’t even go that far. However, if the tables had been turned Ken Ulman would have gone to every reporter this side of the Patapsco.
The email said something like this: “What would you do if you knew Ken Ulman had an illegal alien working as his housekeeper?”
Well, I had completely forgotten about it. Completely!
Then I read today’s news. Ulman dismisses illegal housekeeper
Ken Ulman says:
The woman has lived in the United States about 15 years, Ulman said, and “it never occurred to me” that she was not a legal resident.
“I have conflicted feelings,” said Ulman, who checked on the woman’s status after an inquiry from a reporter. “She is a good person who deceived me. She knew she was illegal, and she didn’t tell me.”
Hmmm. Back in Sept/Oct someone knew she was not a legal resident and they contacted the Merdon campaign. A reporter just happend to recently inquire. How long has this rumor been around? How could it be that the Ulman’s didn’t know if the Merdon campaign knew.
Should we give Ken the benefit of the doubt?
This should not go away.
As Larry Carson sums up in his article – similiar issues did not go away for other people in the same situation:
A number of public figures have had problems with employment of illegal immigrants. Linda Chavez withdrew as President Bush’s first nominee to be labor secretary in early 2001 after news reports that from 1991 to 1993 she housed and occasionally gave money to an illegal Guatemalan immigrant woman who also did housework for her.
Earlier, Zoe E. Baird, former President Bill Clinton’s nominee for attorney general in 1993, was disqualified after admitting she knowingly employed an illegal immigrant as a nanny. Early in 1993, then-Commerce Secretary Ronald H. Brown disclosed on television that he had failed to pay Social Security taxes for a part-time domestic worker for four years.
“I am annoyed at myself for making a mistake and not filing the 1099,” Ulman said. “Since she wasn’t an employee, I knew I didn’t have to withhold taxes.”
I feel comfortable writing this because enough people saw this email to back me up.
My nanny (domestic) says she’s an independent contractor and doesn’t want taxes withheld. Can I do that?
The simple answer is no. The IRS has strict guidelines to define employees and independent contractors (Refer to IRS Publication 926). Nannies and other domestics are generally considered employees. It does not matter how the employee refers to herself or how you refer to her in an employment contract. You are obligated for all payroll tax filings and remittances. The IRS has reaffirmed this stance twice in 1999. In two private letter rulings (PLR 199923014 and 199923015) the IRS disregarded a written contract’s designation of a worker as a contractor, ruling that the substance of the relationship and not its label determines the worker’s status.