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Maralyn
Star Contributor

USA
626 Posts

Posted - 03/11/2012 :  10:55:53 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Larry, if they think you "suck" they cut your hours to nothing. LOL!!!!
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LarryT
Star Contributor

USA
688 Posts

Posted - 03/11/2012 :  12:17:11 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Perhaps the pay freeze only applies to certain teams (or certain areas, like you said). I am not on a dedicated team like KC, Walgr, etc.

However, it's also possible that the recruiter had no clue of what he was talking about. I find that to be the case with about 99% of all recruiters I have dealt with. At any rate, I doubt I would get a raise this July as I will not have been working for them a year at that point. I'll worry about it next July, if I am still working for them.

I have also been told by other volition members that this whole industry is on a pay freeze, so no one working for any company gets a raise in this industry. Apparently that isn't true. You are getting raises and have been since 2005. And actually, come to think of it, 2 co-workers from another company I work for have also told me that got a raise last year when they asked for it. So this whole deal about this industry not giving raises isn't entirely true. It's not an industry thing, it's a company thing and a "case-by-case" thing.
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HelenD
Member

Henderson, Nevada
USA
25 Posts

Posted - 03/11/2012 :  12:51:27 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
LarryT..

What division are you in?

Helen Dobbs
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MarlaB
Star Contributor

Attica, IN
USA
2842 Posts

Posted - 03/11/2012 :  3:16:50 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Larry, as it should be, case by case. You know there are merchandisers with any company that aren't worth what they are getting paid, let alone get a raise.

Marla
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Avery
Valued Contributor

Salida, Colorado
USA
179 Posts

Posted - 03/11/2012 :  4:42:49 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Maralyn

Avery, I do not work for the events team, but I can give you some enlightment....

.... We are all employees, no IC's. I know that change is always scarey, but hang in there, I don't think much will change for you but the employees status,....
Dear Maralyn:
It sounds like you've worked both as an IC and an employee. Would you happen to know if I can still write off the mileage I put on my car just for doing demos when I'm an "employee"? (That's one of the biggest things that has me worried if I can't do that any more.) Of course, I also despise having taxes withheld from my pay and having the government hold onto my money all year, interest-free.
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Maralyn
Star Contributor

USA
626 Posts

Posted - 03/11/2012 :  5:23:38 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Avery, you can use the difference with what Crossmark pays and what the goverment allows
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Avery
Valued Contributor

Salida, Colorado
USA
179 Posts

Posted - 03/11/2012 :  7:33:36 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Thank you for the quick answer. Do you mean that Crossmark pays its employees for a certain number of miles traveled? On the other hand, doesn't that mean I'd have to pay income tax on more income?
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LarryT
Star Contributor

USA
688 Posts

Posted - 03/11/2012 :  7:52:56 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
As far as I know, taxes are not withheld on mileage. It is a reimbursement, not income. Not sure about drive time. I think drive time is considered wages so taxes would be withheld.

Crossmark pays mileage and drive time according to the following...

All mileage and drive time is paid for between stores. But from your home to the first store and from your last store to your house, you only get paid mileage (each way) if your miles surpass 40. You will then get paid for every mile after 40 miles (each way). But drive time does not kick in until after 60 min each way. Mileage is paid at 30 cents per mile, I believe. And your drive time is paid at your normal hourly rate.
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HelenD
Member

Henderson, Nevada
USA
25 Posts

Posted - 03/12/2012 :  04:18:29 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Larry, Are you saying that you never do more than one store a day? We are paid D/T between locations when we do more than one location a day. This is figured automatically in Sales Trak for you.

Helen Dobbs
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MarlaB
Star Contributor

Attica, IN
USA
2842 Posts

Posted - 03/12/2012 :  05:12:53 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Avery, you can only deduct mileage as an employee as a itemized deduction. If you don't have enough itemized deductions, then you should take the standard deduction. I never have more itemized deductions than what the standard deduction is.

The 40/60 rate is based on the average commuting time throughout the US, not just 1 or 2 companies decision. Lots of people commute more than 40miles/60minutes on their average day.

Marla
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Maralyn
Star Contributor

USA
626 Posts

Posted - 03/12/2012 :  06:45:14 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Avery, my advise to you as a employee of Crossmark, is to take it up with your supervisor. There is a training session that is on the website that will give you the correct answers to all of your questions. They are standard for all employee of Crossmark. Best of Luck.
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Avery
Valued Contributor

Salida, Colorado
USA
179 Posts

Posted - 03/13/2012 :  9:36:18 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by MarlaB

Avery, you can only deduct mileage as an employee as a itemized deduction. If you don't have enough itemized deductions, then you should take the standard deduction. I never have more itemized deductions than what the standard deduction is.

I was afraid that someone would give me this answer.... As an independent contractor, I can write off every mile I drive to and from a job (demonstrators do not work multiple locations in one day -- we drive to one store, set up, do our job, and go home). At fifty-plus cents per mile (whatever the IRS says the rate is every year), I drive far enough to each demo to write off fully 25% of my income in mileage deductions.

Thus, becoming an employee will be a very big hit on my income.
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MarlaB
Star Contributor

Attica, IN
USA
2842 Posts

Posted - 03/14/2012 :  05:30:40 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Avery, the advantages and disadvantages of IC work versus employees are many. Down side to IC work, never being able to declare unemployment, if that's all you do. The benefits(insurance/vacation and such) are all left to you. As an employee and not taking ALL those deductions, by the time you are able to draw SS benefits, you MAY have more income to be based on. I'm at that stage that I'm looking to build my tax reportable income. Within 5-10 years, it's possible to raise that possible SS check.

Alot less tax headaches at tax time, being an employee. Companies should pay IC more, since the IC are required to pay their own SS and Medicare taxes out of what they earn, but some don't.

Marla
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JudyK
Star Contributor

Eau Claire, WI. 54703-1729
USA
1349 Posts

Posted - 03/14/2012 :  09:00:39 AM  Send JudyK an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
I think many of us can relate to Averys problem since weve been there. Foolishly, I thought IC work was fantastic also, and am now paying for it with a much smaller Social Security check! ALL those deductions one takes dont help you in the future, but the money is great week to week in your pay check when we need it. Isnt that what we want/need? Definitely. Write offs can have a very negative effect on your future since all those deductions actually decrease the amount youve earned to possibly the point it will look like you didnt work at all for all the time of doing IC. Periodically, Social Security mails out a statement that shows how much youve paid in from each of your working years. Remaining an IC youll see those time periods showing little to nothing paid in. Thats not good because it will directly affect your retirement when SS calculates your SS check amount. You may still have deductions as an employee to use at tax time,such as a printer/ paper, ink, new computer,desk, filing cabinet, possibly an office in your home dedicated to work,mileage, and pretty much anything you use for work ONLY. But, you will also be paying into Social Security and paying taxes on income allowable, and getting credit, or a refund at tax time. Mileage used for deductions is the difference between what the employer pays ,and what the gov allows, which in some cases the difference can be close to double what the employer pays. It IS definitely a PLUS to be an employee, other than losing complete control of deciding when you want to take time off. The flexibility is still there as an employee, but now you have to request time off for vacations, etc. Not knowing if Social Security will be available by the time youre ready to retire may influence your decision to continue keep doing as youre doing. Had I known what I know now, Id have done things totally different. If at all possible try to get some work as an employee and use IC work for extra income and deductions. I hope Ive made this clearer for you Avery.
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Maralyn
Star Contributor

USA
626 Posts

Posted - 03/14/2012 :  10:09:25 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Avery,

You need to get with your Supervisor, you are getting yourself worked up and I don't think that mileage will be any different than what you have been doing, because you would have to drive over 40 miles before you could collect any mileage from Crossmark, and then it would only pay for the difference between the 40 miles and what you drove to the store and then the same amount back home.
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LarryT
Star Contributor

USA
688 Posts

Posted - 03/14/2012 :  10:52:47 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I have to agree with JudyK. IC work can be nice, but I think in the long run, especially in this economy and especially in such an unstable industry as retail services, W-2 (employee) is the best way to go for me. But god forbid you lose all or most of your IC work and you need unemployment to get you through for a while, you can forget about unemployment compensation (just like MarlaB stated). As an IC, you are looked at by the feds as no different than a small business owner. No unemployment compensation for you when things go south. Therefore, it's only for calculated risk-takers. Not everyone was born a risk-taker.

I personally only pickup IC work when I have to (because I need work and only IC work is available at the time). But everyone is different in the way they think about it and in what they need and want. So you have to make a decision and go with it. The choice between IC or employee is not right or wrong. It really amounts to a personal choice. If you don't mind the inherent risks of being IC and if you are a good money manager and know how to save for retirement and actually do it, IC can be a good way to go.
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Avery
Valued Contributor

Salida, Colorado
USA
179 Posts

Posted - 03/14/2012 :  7:44:15 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Thank you all for your thoughtful replies to this discussion. To clarify:

[] I've been self-employed for close to 25 years -- I despise "time-clock" employee/serf jobs.

[] If I weren't too old to compete in this job market for a full-time job that matches my qualifications, AND the hourly pay was close to the $12.50 - $20 per hour I get working for myself, AND the job came with health insurance, I'd probably go back to work full-time.

[] Filling out a form "C" with the deductions I can take as an IC and being able to take the standard deduction works best for me. There is no question that working as an employee, driving at most 13 miles one-way to do a demo, will cause me to lose roughly 25% percent of my current income from demos.

[] I have over the years checked out various jobs in merchandising and demonstrating, and I have consciously NOT gone to work for companies that do not allow me to work as an IC.

[] My highest ten years of income go back about thirty years, and those levels are what determines my future SS income. Thus, whatever amounts I put into the SS pot now are going towards today's retirees, with no impact on my SS earnings other than to keep my "total years worked" up to snuff.


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LarryT
Star Contributor

USA
688 Posts

Posted - 03/14/2012 :  8:02:04 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Avery, it sounds like you know what you want/need. Therefore, Crossmark will not be for you. Crossmark will not "hire" you on as IC as far as I know because they will have a hard time explaining to the govt why they hire some as employee and some as IC even though they both do the same work. Therefore, since you seem like you know what you want/need, your time would be best spent looking elsewhere to recoup your hours lost by the Crossmark takeover of NCiM. It's sad, I know, but things seem to change for the worse in the retail services industry so it's no surprise if your hourly rate will even go down with Crossmark. Hope you find more IC work elsewhere. Good luck.
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MindyZ
Star Contributor

Hesperia, CA
USA
512 Posts

Posted - 03/14/2012 :  10:12:19 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Thought I would chime in here, I'll be 57 this Friday (16) I've been paying into the "pyramid" since I was 14 and working for pay since I was nine, I've had some damn good paying jobs that have allowed me to "invest" in my retirement such as it is, my choice is to work for the moment, all of these jobs were W-2 which also meant that unemployment was contributed for over 25 years, when things went south a few years ago I discovered that the real pyramid was unemployment (pay lasted about a year) where did that money go???

So what I do for us is for the present, for us to do what we do & go where we go is because we may not be able to when we can't afford to, our "retirement" will be like many other people, we won't be able to afford to.

As Avery said, at our age what you pay in now won't make much of a difference.

HubbyZ

Mindy
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MarlaB
Star Contributor

Attica, IN
USA
2842 Posts

Posted - 03/15/2012 :  3:54:28 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Happy birthday Mindy. Avery, it is not too late to increase your checks, it won't be much, but every dollar will add some a little. IC can also be used to 'pad' the amount of income, if you pay MORE taxes than you really needed to. this year, I decided to add an extra $1,000 to my income as IC. It won't be much, but it will raise my 'future' check a couple of dollars. I'm 56 this month. I plan on taking SS at 62 and continue to work, since I'll be able to make about $10,000 above my SS check without losing it. I haven't made $10,000 for the past 10 years.

My top year was $20,000 and it only lasted about 2 years, so my check will not be very high. I'm already living on what my check should be, so it won't be that much of a shock. Just less gas money going out.

Marla
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