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FIB - Scams 101 - Ye Olde Archives
Posted By: phillyflash In Response To: The people I really feel for are ... (Doug)
Tuesday, 25 April 2006, at 4:50 p.m.
In Response To: The people I really feel for are ... (Doug)
I don't know aboot Taxi driver IC's, but I do know a lot of courier companies that use independent contractors are nowadays imposing a fuel surcharge on their customers and passing that along to their IC's.
> Taxi drivers. Some years ago I worked on commission for a "luxury
> sedan" service -- really, only a high-tone taxi service. Very many of
> the drivers were up against the wall, and for various reasons not really
> in a position to get regular jobs. So they had to become "independent
> contractors," and drive for an industry that doesn't even look at
> work history, or references.
> At least in Michigan, when one is a taxi driver you can get further and
> further in the hole as time goes by. Taxi drivers are considered business
> people and so they pay more taxes than employees. Where I worked I started
> each day in the hole. Just taking a car out meant I was going to be paying
> the company for insurance, and a car wash (whether it needed one or not).
> My cut of the daily gross for the day would be around twenty percent,
> minus the initial expenses and the gas I would have to put back in the car
> before I turned it in.
> When I was driving there was a period when the gas was spurting up. The
> company heartlessly remained silent. It was the driver's problem; they
> were independent business people. Drivers typically rely upon tips to pay
> their expenses, but when gas prices were rising it was not uncommon for me
> to have to dip into my small commission to fill the tank. And all of this
> was before taxes. And let's not forget that I had to pay for gas for my
> personal car to simply get to work, just like everybody else. And that is
> not deductible as a business expense.
> I did get in trouble with the IRS because I could not pay my taxes on
> time. And when I could not pay the IRS heaped on penalties. Some drivers
> threw up their hands and tried to hide from the government, not even
> filing. Understand, many of these people are not employable, but they
> still have to eat. Witnessing, and sharing their desperation was not
> pleasant, believe you me. I was able to get out of that mess because of
> some advantages I have, although it was still difficult due to very low
> morale. And yes, I had to get a "job" before I could get out of
> the hole, although the job didn't pay well. Still, I paid less taxes, and
> was able to move ahead.
> Perhaps this story will help some of you who have jobs, and who don't have
> to depend upon driving for a livelihood, to gain some perspective.
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