14 September, 2006

Today's Episode: Fun with the IRS

Back in The Day I worked for Kumon (a Kumon) for a lady named Betty. I had tutored English before for college students at Gavilan, and decided that it sounded like a fun job to work with kids and just have to follow the set worksheets and administer tests. Working for Betty was pretty hectic; she would often disappear to China for weeks at a time, or to conferences for Kumon, and I wound up opening, closing, and answering lots of questions. It got to be slightly hellish right before I left (because I was moving to Santa Cruz), and it isn't as if it were a high-paying job with really great skills required (believe me; I met my coworkers. Read English? only slightly, thanks). She was pretty frantic when I left, insisting I find a replacement for myself even though I had told her from the beginning I was leaving in September. I didn't find a replacement. I also found out that all those 'conference trips' she took she never actually went anywhere. She is obviously all sorts of crazy.

Fast forward to tax-form and student aid application time, and I get a statement of earnings from Betty. Except she had me listed as an independent contractor. hahahaaaa, noooo way lady. I filed an S-#screwyoutothewallfortryingtoevadetheIRS form, saying that I WAS an employee, I had set hours, I did not provide tutoring or any other services apart from Kumon work (which at the time I thankfully did not) and sent in the form. Betty started calling and leaving messages, asking me to call her back, which I did not do. I've talked to the woman on the phone before, and believe me I had better ways to spend an afternoon of my life. Plus I don't know Chinese, which made those conversations even more interesting. I know she's in deep trouble from the IRS for not reporting any of her employees as such, for probably not reporting her earnings, and for running her Kumon centers in ways that are probably going to get her title revoked.

aaanyhow, this morning (7:30 AM yo!) a lady calls, saying she is working on my case, and asks me some questions, especially where what I wrote and what Betty wrote contradicted each other. Like: "she wrote that you did not receive any training from Kumon and came in with the skills already" huh? I was not born with the knowledge of the almighty Kumon process encoded in my mitochondria. I told her no, she taught me how to administer the packets. "She wrote that you provided tutoring for people on your own outside of Kumon". Nope!!! She wanted to me to, she ASKED me to, other employees had, but I never did. "You wrote under expenses that you did not have any; she said that your provided pencils and paper." nooo, the only things they wrote on were the packets provided by Kumon. I did not provide diddly. Some of the kids brought their OWN paper and pencils, and worked on their homework, which I occasionally helped them with because I am NICE and I had nothing else to do, but it was always on Kumon's dime. "She said that you were free to come and go as you pleased". No, technically I could have just left, but we had set times she wanted us there, and occasionally I did have to leave early because I had a class, but I didn't just show up whenever I wanted. "You wrote that you had to open and close...is it like a real estate office, where everyone has a key?" No, because she rented from schools and churches, so she had a key and then the copy went to whoever was opening/closing. I told her all that. Near the end I think she could hear how annoyed I was, and she said "I've already determined that you were an employee, I just had to go over a few of these things with you". She was really nice, and sounded kind of amused by the whole thing, asking why I had filed the form (I told her, because I received the wrong form from Betty, saying I was an independent contractor, so I filed the paperwork to say I wasn't.

I may have to pay a little to the IRS, because none of my earnings were withheld (although I doubt it, since we are in the 'not enough money to eat dirt with' tax bracket), and I will have to refile and claim the earnings (although I am pretty sure I already did that, so it shouldn't be a problem). Hooray for financial resolutions! Hooray for not getting screwed out of 40%+ of my earnings! Hooray for crazy lady finally getting called up (she shoplifts! She does! It's been in the papers! She's rich though! Her husband is a doctor!). Moral of the story: do not work for crazy people. Also do not give them your cell phone number.

Back to studying. I will conquer the Japanese! I will!!! The pic is the view from my window of a sunset when I first moved here. ahhh. so soothing.

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