• Finance

Here's an idea: let's tax freelancers TWICE

Municipal taxation of independent workers rears its ugly head in San Jose, California. The San Jose Mercury News reports that the city is trying to increase revenues by offering "amnesty" to people who haven't paid the local business tax. According to the Mercury News, though, this tax is so obscure that many residents and small businesses don't even know they owe it. That's "35,000 contractors, programmers, consultants, freelancers, salespeople, landlords, gardeners and other businesses that . . . might be on the hook for $150 to $25,000 per year." This is an analogue to New York's own Unincorporated Business Tax, which earns millions for the city from partnerships like Goldman, Sachs, but also effectively taxes freelancers' income twice: once as business revenue, and again as personal income. The Mercury News notes that real estate agents in the city of Cupertino successfully fought off a tax for that very reason; Freelancers Union believes that independent workers can have similar clout when they organize. Sure, San Jose ought to collect from businesses who are flouting tax laws. But the city should rethink who the tax applies to. Is it really the Avon lady and the freelance screenwriter they're after?

Freelancers Union Creating a better future for all independent workers across the United States.

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