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 Laid off of regular job. Can I collect unemployment when I'm still working as an IC?
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BarbMacNJ
Member

Nutley, NJ
USA
19 Posts

Posted - 07/31/2003 :  03:56:41 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I have a somewhat strange question. My "regular" job is very slow right now & I've only worked there under 20 hours in the past month. In the meantime, I'm still performing my IC work. Would I still be eligible for unemployment? Although I am working as an IC, it can take up to 3 months to receive payment from companies & the lack of steady money-flow is throwing me off.

Any suggestions would be appreciated, thanks!

MarteeC
Star Contributor

Tampa, FL
USA
1352 Posts

Posted - 07/31/2003 :  06:38:48 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Please do not accept this as gospel, as it is NOT my field of expertise. My UNDERSTANDING is that if you are on unemployment, your benefits are reduced by whatever income you bring in. All income is to be tracked for the end of the year and reported to the IRS so, there is record of those monies and they would have to be reported against your unemployment benefits. Call down to the unemployment office and explain your situation. If the income is ongoing and has been claimed in the past, it may not qualify as "new" and may not affect your benefits as such. You will be better off getting that advice from the powers that be.
If you do not plan on claiming your MS income, I would advise against that also. Even if a company does not issue you a 1099 (they are only required to do so IF you make in excess of $600.00 per year), this does not mean they did not report your payment to the IRS. They very well may have as they claim your payment as a business expense.
Good luck-I hope things settle down for you-these are tough economic times...
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.ColleenNYC
Inactive

New York City, NY
USA
1700 Posts

Posted - 07/31/2003 :  06:52:45 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I know that one of the questions asked every time you claim your weekly benefits is "Have you worked during the weeks claimed?" I THINK another question is "Are you self employed?" If the answer is yes, you have worked, but you will not receive payment for a few monthes, I would report the extenuating circumstances to Unemployment.
If you accept payments for weeks you claim unemployment, and they find out you worked, and did not report it to them, you can get in serious trouble.
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BarbMacNJ
Member

Nutley, NJ
USA
19 Posts

Posted - 07/31/2003 :  07:54:29 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I appreciate the responses... I do claim all of my income & don't hide anything (I'm one of those people with a horribly guilty conscience). I would never try to pull one over on the government LOL - with my luck, I'd surely be caught & thrown in federal prison for the rest of my life!

I will get in touch with the unemployment office & see what they say. I'll give ya the update in case anyone else in this forum is going through the same ordeal.

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.StephanieA
Inactive

Redmond, WA
USA
1816 Posts

Posted - 07/31/2003 :  08:03:05 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Rule of thumb is on unemployment, is having "worked" a regular job. If your IC job is reimbursement only it is not considered a regular job. Also, most MS companies do not report your earnings unless you make over $XYZ. So again, this would be a hard call. If memory serves me correctly on unemployment benefits, you needed to clear over $50 for it to even count against you here. Just my $0.02 worth.

Shopping WA especially, Redmond, Kirkland, Bellevue, Woodinville and from Tukwila to Lynnwood.
MSPA Gold
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Deanna
Contributor

Hamilton, OH
USA
94 Posts

Posted - 07/31/2003 :  08:45:10 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
You can view information about NJ's UC program online:

http://www.state.nj.us/labor/ui/uiindex.html

For part-time employment you can earn a small amount, 20% of your UC, without affecting the benefit:

http://www.state.nj.us/labor/ui/ptimearn.html

In Ohio gross earnings had to be reported when it is earned, not received. This included earnings from self-employment. Reporting one-time earnings seemed to always slow down the check for other weeks pending while you were asked to contact them regarding a possible separation issue.

MSPA Gold Certified #ct8cxq
Shopping Hamilton, Fairfield, West Chester and the northern Cincinnati suburbs.
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.ColleenNYC
Inactive

New York City, NY
USA
1700 Posts

Posted - 07/31/2003 :  11:15:33 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Hey Barb, I didnt think you were a cheater. I just know that NJ will be searching for every nickel and dime they can get their hands on. Governor McGreedy (thats what my son James calls him) likes to go on extravagent vacations and have everyone else foot the bill. You know I am not a fan when he decided to try and tax the comps people get from Atlantic City Casinos
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BarbMacNJ
Member

Nutley, NJ
USA
19 Posts

Posted - 07/31/2003 :  11:27:18 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Colleen -

I didn't think you were calling me a cheater... just wanted to clear it up before people started reading too much into the situation (you know how it gets on here about these subjects..... LETS GET READY TO RUMBLEEEEEE)

I agree with your son about our Gov - but being I don't vote (::ducking::), I guess I can't complain =oX

Thanks again for everyone's help, I actually just got a call from the job about an hour ago & they want me back on Tuesday. So I guess I was jumping the gun afterall LOL
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MarteeC
Star Contributor

Tampa, FL
USA
1352 Posts

Posted - 07/31/2003 :  11:51:54 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Stephanie-you may be in for a big surprise if you presume that "most MS companies do not report your earnings unless you make over $XYZ".
They are not required to send you a 1099 unless you make over $600.00, but it is beneficial for them to report your payment as a cost of business and most do. I have received a 1099 for as little as $12.00, but I do not presume that a company is not reporting every single penny, whether they notify me or not.
Barb-I was not implying you were thinking of doing anything wrong, I just prefer to post as accurately as possible. Reporting income has been a confusing issue from day one.
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.ColleenNYC
Inactive

New York City, NY
USA
1700 Posts

Posted - 07/31/2003 :  12:13:44 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
OK, is this a coincidence or what. I just got my Homestead Rebate check from Gov. Mc Greedy, along with a nice heartfelt letter from him. Now I am ashamed for the things I said about him
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MarteeC
Star Contributor

Tampa, FL
USA
1352 Posts

Posted - 07/31/2003 :  12:30:16 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
No Colleen. No coincidence. He read your post here, realized he was in error and you had caught on to his ways and in a feeble attempt to assuage your feelings dashed out to your mailbox, check in hand.
Really Colleen-you need to tear up that check right now and place it in a box with a dead fish and overnight it back to City Hall with a note letting him know that this is NOT an acceptable way to do business... but to add a couple of zeros to the end of that check and you can talk...
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PeggyLGB
Apprentice

Marblehead, MA
USA
4 Posts

Posted - 07/31/2003 :  12:35:14 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Check with your state unemployment office. In Massachusetts you may make up to $x per week without losing benefits. Ask them. Also when you report your income they ask for your Net income not gross from Self-employment, so you have small business deductions that are applicable. Best bet is to ask them, or tax advisor.

Peggy
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.StephanieA
Inactive

Redmond, WA
USA
1816 Posts

Posted - 07/31/2003 :  12:45:41 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
MarteeC:
I do know that they send in the forms, but if you don't make over a certain amount per year it does not effect you that much. Say like $599 a year is not going to send the IRS down your throat or that unemployemnet is going to go after you for less then $50 a month of income. Each state has their own criteria. Each person needs to check that out for themselves.

You also stated:
If you do not plan on claiming your MS income, I would advise against that also. Even if a company does not issue you a 1099 (they are only required to do so IF you make in excess of $600.00 per year), this does not mean they did not report your payment to the IRS. They very well may have as they claim your payment as a business expense.

All companies are suppose to send you a copy of what they sent to the IRS. And this is per my tax consultant. Just for the record.

Shopping WA especially, Redmond, Kirkland, Bellevue, Woodinville and from Tukwila to Lynnwood.
MSPA Gold
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MarteeC
Star Contributor

Tampa, FL
USA
1352 Posts

Posted - 07/31/2003 :  2:56:45 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
If you do not make over $599.00 annually COMBINED, it does not apply to you. I am not, nor do I profess to be a tax consultant, however as a small business owner who worked with Independent Contractors on a daily basis, I CAN tell you that interpretation is wide and varied on anything to do with IRS laws. My statement was that a company is NOT obligated to provide a 1099 to an IC unless the IC earns $600.00 from that company. If the company is audited, all payments claimed will be accounted for, including your $12.00. As an IC, it is YOUR responsibility to keep track and report your earnings. As I have stated here before, and will state again, please please see a tax professional before accepting anything here as gospel. My original statement was NOT directed to anyone in particular, rather an observation made regarding an issue that is constant.
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Karen0224
Member

Painesville, OH
USA
24 Posts

Posted - 07/31/2003 :  3:22:09 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I can add my two cents here...or maybe it will be four!

I think unemployment varies by state. I will begin receiving unemployment in October (currently on severence). In Ohio a person can earn up to 20% of their unemployment benefits before the benefits are effected. I think my unemployment will be about $300 a week so I can earn about $60 doing shops. Also, I believe that I read that Ohio is interested in when you earn the money, not when you receive it.

As for the income you earn from shopping. Every dollar you earn is taxable and should show up on your tax return. However, each ms company is not required to issue a 1099 until you have earned $600 or more. This does not mean that they can't issue one for a smaller amount. Also, I'm betting that each ms company takes a deduction for every dollar they pay us...even those measly $6 shops. They claim them as a business expense. If they are ever audited by the IRS they might have to provide info on all of the IC's, even one's who don't get a 1099. My advice is to be careful...there is a trail.

Karen

MSAP Silver Certified
Shopping Northeast Ohio
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KimHaynes
Member

USA
21 Posts

Posted - 07/31/2003 :  8:03:00 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I draw unemployment from the State of Kansas and it specifically states...."did you work AS AN EMPLOYEE for the week being claimed." I do have a couple of jobs where I am an employee and I count that money I made during that week, but not the IC's. I figure for Kansas anyways, it' pretty cut and dried.

JMTCW

Kim
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LindaCulp
Star Contributor

Portland, Oregon
USA
2339 Posts

Posted - 07/31/2003 :  10:49:37 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Well, let's add some more confusion to the mix . . .

Here's how it works in California:

Let's say you're drawing the maximum weekly benefit from unemployment. Currently that's $370. Any money that you earn that week needs to be counted against that $370 . . . but it's not a straight deduction (A - B = C); that's what's weird about it.

Before you can do that, however, you have to do some preliminary math. For shops that are reimbursed, the reimbursable amount does not apply, because the amount you spent to do the shop is a business expense. For the sake of calculation here, let's assume you spent $60 on dinner, and it was all reimbursed. It's a wash; not a penny of it is counted against your unemployment.

HOWEVER, any straight income you earned on your shop does need to be counted against unemployment. I happen to know that counted against your weekly $370 payout, if you accumulate let's say, $295 of net, straight income for that week (after deducting business expenses, mileage, etc.), you will receive a check for approximately $125 from unemployment. $295 + $125 = $420. (These numbers are NOT exact; they're just a rough guess based on what I've seen, to give you an idea of how it works).

Don't ask me how unemployment calculates the amount you'll be paid by them when you have earned income. I've seen checks that don't fit any standard calculation, depending on the amount of income you claim for that week. There's no way to know ahead of time what your net income will be.

Basically, the more you make in earnings, without going over your weekly allotment, the more you actually will make in total, when combining your straight income with your unemployment earnings. The overage has never been more than about $50, though.

Bottom line--in essence, you could work your tail off MSing, earning $350 of straight, net income for the week, and because you haven't gone over your $370 allotment, you will get a check from unemployment which, when added up, actually pays you approximately an extra $50 over what you would have made ($370) if you'd stayed home all week and done absolutely nothing.

Happily shopping the Portland, Oregon metro area!
~MSPA *Gold* Certified, 2003~
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DarleneFL
Star Contributor

Tampa Bay Area, FL
USA
343 Posts

Posted - 08/01/2003 :  12:51:10 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Hello! The main thing here is that people need to check with their State unemployment compensation office -- each state has its own laws and program. I would bet that most, if not all, information can be obtained online.

When I lived in California, I collected unemployment when I was "downsized" (too bad that is a euphemism for losing one's job, rather than an effortless, magical way to lose personal physical size and weight!). I continued to work part-time for that same company as an independent contractor and based upon what I found out about the UC program/laws, I was able to schedule my work days to maximize my UC benefits. If I recall correctly, there was a greater benefit to me to schedule as many projects as I could in one week and then take the next week off.

Also, if I recall correctly, any compensation that one receives as "severence" or that can be categorized as "monies received that are directly related to losing one's job" are typically excluded from UC benefit calculations. I believe that was true for me in California, because I received a generous severence package and I started collecting UC benefits right away (and no, I did not lie about any money that I received). I know that this was also true in Florida, from a family member's experience, and it was clearly stated in the actual state laws that I found online.
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Tom
Contributor

USA
211 Posts

Posted - 08/01/2003 :  09:40:40 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Barb in NJ...It amazes me that people such as yourself look for advice in this venue. The need for legal, financial, medical and business acumen can be filled by the educated, not the know it all wannabees. It is obvious to me that your intent is to clip the system. Why else would you ask strangers what the UC office could explain in a minute. Are you looking for the loop hole or the pie in the sky shot.? All the advice given so far is part right and part wrong in each and every case. If you claim is questioned what are you going to say to the UC center. But sir/madam I was given advice by the quasi informed on a Volition site. Go to the pros for the correct answers.
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.ColleenNYC
Inactive

New York City, NY
USA
1700 Posts

Posted - 08/01/2003 :  09:55:49 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Wow, charm, knowledge to read peoples minds (and there intentions), and the ability to decipher and judge others as "know it all wannabees". Thank you for you enlightening opinion of whats wrong in the world, but cant you get the Theasaurus out and look up another term, "quasi informed" is getting stale.
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KatherineM
Contributor

TX
USA
89 Posts

Posted - 08/01/2003 :  10:09:59 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
"It is obvious to me that your intent is to clip the system. Why else would you ask strangers what the UC office could explain in a minute."

If only I could be as all-knowing as Tom <sigh>

Meanwhile...I feel nothing is wrong in discussing this with others that might be in a similar situation BEFORE you seek professional advice. Sure, some of it might not be accurate or fit your needs, but some of what has been said might prove helpful in forming questions (TO ASK A PROFESSIONAL). Oh, and yes, I note that many people responding to this thread have included that caveat - SEEK PROFESSIONAL ADVICE.
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