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Author Topic: IRS forcing minimum wage and site income tax charges for workampers?  (Read 15885 times)

Pat

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I have a couple in here who workamp over there by Quartzsite.  They said the IRS is starting to force campgrounds to pay at least minimum wage and to charge income tax on the rent value of site and utilities comped to workampers.  Anybody know any websites with more precise info on this?  These folks are still confused on the issue.  They said IRS.  I don't think they meant AZ Dept Revenue.

--pat
--pat
2001 Chinook Destiny

Paul & Ann

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Re: IRS forcing minimum wage and site income tax charges for workampers?
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2010, 05:13:45 PM »
I found this information on another website.  I am not sure it will be helpful or not.

http://www.rv-dreams.com/workamping-taxes.html

Paul
Paul & Ann  Iowa
2005 Winnebago Voyage 38J
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Pat

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Re: IRS forcing minimum wage and site income tax charges for workampers?
« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2010, 05:39:42 PM »
Excellent site.  Sounds like I'm safe.  Imagine turning volunteer jobs into minimum wage taxable businesses.  What next?  Soup kitchens? 

The site mentions a couple pros for volunteer workamping.  It's in the spirit of fulltiming, and it provides a sense of fulfillment.  It's what I've felt all along but didn't know how to put it into words. 

--pat
--pat
2001 Chinook Destiny

Wendy

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Re: IRS forcing minimum wage and site income tax charges for workampers?
« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2010, 06:30:43 PM »
If you are required to live in the park as part of your job, then the value of your campsite is taxable and tax deductible, or a wash. You don't have to bother claiming it. If you are not required to live in the campground, then the value of a free campsite is taxable.
 
Wendy
Wendy, Mike, and Gordon
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Mexray

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Re: IRS forcing minimum wage and site income tax charges for workampers?
« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2010, 07:40:02 PM »
Can you believe it...Fed agents tracking down Camp Hosts and their employers to make sure they're making contributions to the Federal Treasury...

I'm willing to bet the farm that the costs associated with making sure these 'hosts' are paying up, are probably OVER 10 times the amount of any 'revenue' gained!!!!

Just another example of another government entity making life more complicated for we tax paying citizens...Yeah, I know these reg's are written into law somewhere, but give me a break - camp hosts being accused as tax cheats!  And some people still can't understand why the Tea Parties are so popular these days!

Ray
Ray & Pat near Lodi, CA...

Wendy

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Re: IRS forcing minimum wage and site income tax charges for workampers?
« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2010, 07:51:27 PM »
I don't think the IRS is actually out there "tracking down camp hosts" to collect from them. Especially since camp hosts who trade work for a free campsite don't have taxable income. And I don't think I saw anything accusing camp hosts of being "tax cheats." I do suspect that there are a lot of volunteers out there who really don't know if they're getting anything taxable or not which makes the link Paul & Ann posted very helpful.
 
Wendy
Occasional camp host, used-to-be accountant
Wendy, Mike, and Gordon
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2015 Allegro Ooen Road
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Pat

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Re: IRS forcing minimum wage and site income tax charges for workampers?
« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2010, 08:34:29 PM »
The example I heard where this happened, a retired IRS agent happened to camp in the park and collected a fee for reporting some small violations.

--pat
--pat
2001 Chinook Destiny

Paul & Ann

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Re: IRS forcing minimum wage and site income tax charges for workampers?
« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2010, 09:42:05 PM »
How would a retired agent even know of the violations, or even if there were violations? 

Paul
Paul & Ann  Iowa
2005 Winnebago Voyage 38J
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Pat

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Re: IRS forcing minimum wage and site income tax charges for workampers?
« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2010, 09:49:31 PM »
I'm guessing by chatting informally with workampers.  I'm sure there are many situations where people don't realize they're being interrogated.
--pat
2001 Chinook Destiny

DearMissMermaid

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Re: IRS forcing minimum wage and site income tax charges for workampers?
« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2010, 04:03:53 AM »
The IRS has to AUDIT the person or business first.

They can't just show up and say they heard a rumor from some retired agent, that you might be paying less than your lawful share of taxes.
http://DearMissMermaid.Com

Living, working. playing  in a Class C, 1994 Tioga Montara, 28'

Pack half the stuff and twice the cash.
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: IRS forcing minimum wage and site income tax charges for workampers?
« Reply #10 on: September 30, 2010, 09:14:17 AM »
This isn't a new thing - it has always been the law.  Some campgrounds have strictly enforced the rules concerning minimum wage and taxes, but some private campgrounds have skated around them, either ignoring or claiming exemptions that may or may not apply. As Wendy explained, the value of the campsite is taxable, but it is also tax deductible in many situations.

If you work 9-6 in the campground store or office, it is pretty tough to claim that you are "required" to live in the campground to do the job, but many campgrounds have used that exception to justify excluding it from taxable income. It probably wouldn't hold up in an audit, though. But if any nighttime security or after normal business hours responsibilities were part of the job, it would probably be ok.

The individual workamper might be asked to provide the IRS with an official statement from the employer that they were "required to live in the campground". A cautious worker would ask for one up front rather than trying to get it when the IRS audit happens 6-18 months later. Obviously, the taxable nature of the site has a significant impact on the workamper's income, so best to know up front.  But the IRS could still deny the employers claim that you were required to live onsite, so even having the written statement is not 100% foolproof.

I think the new healthcare provisions going into effect are causing a much closer look at a lot of small businesses that in the past may have skated around some regulations. There are requirements to provide health insurance for a lot of people who may not have been covered before, and this leads to formal scrutiny by several gov't agencies.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2010, 09:15:53 AM by Gary [RV Roamer] »
Gary
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Pat

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Re: IRS forcing minimum wage and site income tax charges for workampers?
« Reply #11 on: September 30, 2010, 10:32:13 AM »
Interesting issue on the healthcare. 

On the issue of requiring a workamper to be onsite, I don't think official work hours for a workamper relate to how much they're really on call.  This is a people service business.  I wouldn't dream of turning off the phone extension in my RV at night.  I've dealt with several emergencies during non-business hours.  At least one required the maintenance workamper's immediate assistance.

--pat
--pat
2001 Chinook Destiny

Wendy

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Re: IRS forcing minimum wage and site income tax charges for workampers?
« Reply #12 on: September 30, 2010, 10:39:09 AM »
When we worked for and then volunteered for the National Park Service, we were required to live on-site so that there was an official presence in the campground at all times, also in case of emergency. So the "required to live in the campground" as a condition of employment is a pretty easy one.
 
Wendy
Wendy, Mike, and Gordon
~We can't be lost because we don't care where we're going~
Here's where we are http://map.datastormusers.com/user2.cfm?user=2276
2015 Allegro Ooen Road
1973 Sunshine Yellow VW Bug

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: IRS forcing minimum wage and site income tax charges for workampers?
« Reply #13 on: September 30, 2010, 11:05:25 AM »
If "on call" is any part of the job description, then living onsite is pretty much a given. "Camp host" jobs, for example.  But many workamper jobs are not like that at all, and have regular hours and well defined responsibilities. They may not have any people responsibilities either. Mowing the grass or cleaning fireplaces, for example.

The point is that the job responsibilites (not what you volunteer to do after hours), as defined by the employer, are the determining factor.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

DearMissMermaid

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Re: IRS forcing minimum wage and site income tax charges for workampers?
« Reply #14 on: September 30, 2010, 06:42:24 PM »
It's pretty easy to justify a workamper needs to live on site whether they work full or part time. Since they are required to own and live in a motorhome, there may not be another campground around to live in, and besides, they can't very well require you to live with a competitor, for obvious conflict of interest reasons.

I haven't represented clients before the IRS in a few decades, but that is pretty much how the scene would play down.
http://DearMissMermaid.Com

Living, working. playing  in a Class C, 1994 Tioga Montara, 28'

Pack half the stuff and twice the cash.
http://dearmissmermaid.blogspot.com/

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: IRS forcing minimum wage and site income tax charges for workampers?
« Reply #15 on: October 01, 2010, 08:55:16 AM »
Just because it is the only campground around does not mean the value of the site has to be non-taxable. It's still remuneration for the workers services. In any case, the point is that it has to be a stated requirement of the job to be available onsite.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

DearMissMermaid

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Re: IRS forcing minimum wage and site income tax charges for workampers?
« Reply #16 on: October 01, 2010, 02:39:08 PM »
I can't imagine why a campground would find it so hard to require the camper to live on site, especially if their pay is based on the fact they get a complimentary site and utilities.   

I could see the IRS backing themselves into a quick corner on this one, if they are going to insist the camper doesn't have to live on site.  It then makes it impossible for the camper to collect his compensation.  It also negates the fact that the campground even needs the camper to live anywhere near the place.

But I suppose you've done more battle with the IRS than I ever did representing clients, which thank goodness, I no longer do that thankless chore for a living anymore.

Living in an RV fulltime, doesn't automatically forgive one of taxes, but the deductions against income earned, can be fantastic. 
http://DearMissMermaid.Com

Living, working. playing  in a Class C, 1994 Tioga Montara, 28'

Pack half the stuff and twice the cash.
http://dearmissmermaid.blogspot.com/

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: IRS forcing minimum wage and site income tax charges for workampers?
« Reply #17 on: October 01, 2010, 09:58:40 PM »
Quote
But I suppose you've done more battle with the IRS than I ever did representing clients,

Not at all - I'm just an accomplished amateur at tax regs, but the IRS pubs are fairly specific about this sort of thing. And they aren't forbidding workampers to live onsite - they just want to collect taxes on the workamper's remuneration unless it qualifies for an exception.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

DearMissMermaid

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Re: IRS forcing minimum wage and site income tax charges for workampers?
« Reply #18 on: October 01, 2010, 10:42:20 PM »
IR Publication 525 makes things pretty clear,and it benefits the  workampers.  I am quoting the publication here, because it is not copyright material.


Meals and Lodging

You do not include in your income the value of meals and lodging provided to you and your family by your employer at no charge if the following conditions are met.

The meals are:

Furnished on the business premises of your employer, and

Furnished for the convenience of your employer.

The lodging is:

Furnished on the business premises of your employer,

Furnished for the convenience of your employer, and

A condition of your employment. (You must accept it in order to be able to properly perform your duties.)
http://DearMissMermaid.Com

Living, working. playing  in a Class C, 1994 Tioga Montara, 28'

Pack half the stuff and twice the cash.
http://dearmissmermaid.blogspot.com/

skirk55

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Re: IRS forcing minimum wage and site income tax charges for workampers?
« Reply #19 on: October 17, 2010, 08:03:49 PM »
I am 55 years old and my wife and I are thinking of selling our house and going full time. If the government taxes us for work camp that will kill out dreams. When money gets tight and they dig deep and they keep spending and spending. They will tax everything.

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: IRS forcing minimum wage and site income tax charges for workampers?
« Reply #20 on: October 18, 2010, 08:30:33 AM »
I wouldn't be real worried. Nothing has changed as far as workamping tax regulations. The IRS may be enforcing the existing law more rigorously, though. Small businesses are coming under a lot more scrutiny as the new medical coverage rules go into effect, and that may highlight some places/people that were claiming tax exemptions they were not legally entitled to.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

Wagonmaster2

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Re: IRS forcing minimum wage and site income tax charges for workampers?
« Reply #21 on: December 25, 2010, 11:49:13 PM »
Interesting issue on the healthcare. 

On the issue of requiring a workamper to be onsite, I don't think official work hours for a workamper relate to how much they're really on call.  This is a people service business.  I wouldn't dream of turning off the phone extension in my RV at night.  I've dealt with several emergencies during non-business hours.  At least one required the maintenance workamper's immediate assistance.

--pat

Understand the Republicans have a bill up for a vote that will completely reverse everything Obama put in the Healthcare.  Guess we'll have to wait and see how that goes after the first of the year.   Hopefully it will ease any problems workcampers may have in the future, and I don't workcamp but appreciate all the work they do in the campgrounds we have stayed in.

Allen
2004 Itasca Meridian 36G
2001 Jeep Sahara Wrangler

skirk55

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Re: IRS forcing minimum wage and site income tax charges for workampers?
« Reply #22 on: December 26, 2010, 01:29:34 PM »
This is why we do not need Big Government. The RV industry has made the government big  money for them to waste! You work all of your life and retire. The government taxes you for being retired and  work camping. When you die they tax what you leave for your kids. What next? 

BernieD

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Re: IRS forcing minimum wage and site income tax charges for workampers?
« Reply #23 on: December 26, 2010, 02:25:18 PM »
This is why we do not need Big Government. The RV industry has made the government big  money for them to waste! You work all of your life and retire. The government taxes you for being retired and  work camping. When you die they tax what you leave for your kids. What next?

If you die this year, there is no estate tax. Hopefully you'll last a lot longer. But if you are so concerned about paying taxes on work camper taxable income, it is highly unlikely you'll leave a $5 million (IIRC) estate, which is where the estate tax kicks in. But what's the difference between being a truck driver, nurse, teacher or anyone else paying income on earnings and paying taxes on taxable income when work camping.
Bernie & Marlene Dobrin
Home is Goodyear, AZ
Missing our Travel Supreme

Molaker

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Re: IRS forcing minimum wage and site income tax charges for workampers?
« Reply #24 on: December 26, 2010, 02:34:42 PM »
Taxes, taxes, taxes.  I think we ought to do away with all taxes except for maybe defense and, of course, social security and medicare and highways and schools and medicaid and FDIC and FFA and VA and FDA and EPA and Federal parks & forests and COE lakes & campgounds and ... Oh heck!  We'd better raise taxes if we're going to insist on these services.  Either that or be willing to live without them.
 
I know, I know.  Someone will always have some comment on any individual service they are willing to do without, but as a whole, are you really ready to do without Federal services?  Someone has to foot the bill and until a better way is established, I'll just try to keep up my end of the bargain and enjoy some of these services even if it might mean I would have to pay taxes on some previously overlooked taxable income source.
Tom & Joyce and Ditto the "don't tell her she's a dog" Westie
U.S. Navy (Ret)
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skirk55

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Re: IRS forcing minimum wage and site income tax charges for workampers?
« Reply #25 on: December 26, 2010, 04:57:44 PM »
When my Grandmother left me property and investments in her will I did pay taxes on that. I can give my kids $20,000 each max and did not pay taxes on that money.  It went into a retirement account. When I found out I had cancer I changed things around for my wife so she would not have to go through that again. I wanted to make it easy for her. That was 6 years ago and I still am glad I did it. 

BernieD

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Re: IRS forcing minimum wage and site income tax charges for workampers?
« Reply #26 on: December 26, 2010, 05:09:04 PM »
When your grandmother died, there was an estate tax in effect. The Bush tax cuts reduced the estate tax each year until this year when it is zero. Next year it was supposed to revert to the rates 8 years ago but the new tax law signed by Obama raised the minimum amount subject to taxation and kept the rate lower. Between you and your wife you can give each of your kids something over $20,000 every year and it will be free of tax. But if your retirement account is some form of an IRA, you could have a problem pulling money out of it tax free.
Bernie & Marlene Dobrin
Home is Goodyear, AZ
Missing our Travel Supreme

skirk55

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Re: IRS forcing minimum wage and site income tax charges for workampers?
« Reply #27 on: December 26, 2010, 05:55:53 PM »
They each took money out tax free to purchase there house. My wife had to pay tax on her mothers estate also.

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: IRS forcing minimum wage and site income tax charges for workampers?
« Reply #28 on: December 27, 2010, 09:10:35 AM »
Those may have been state taxes that were paid rather than federal. Even if the estate tax break has not been extended, less than 2% of all estates (those over $1M) would have paid any federal estate tax.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

Orick

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Re: IRS forcing minimum wage and site income tax charges for workampers?
« Reply #29 on: December 27, 2010, 11:57:16 AM »
But what's the difference between being a truck driver, nurse, teacher or anyone else paying income on earnings and paying taxes on taxable income when work camping.

Well said.  As someone who relied on a paycheck from corporate America for 33 years, I'm not at all opposed to taking a closer look at how small businesses interpret the tax laws and determine how much tax they'll pay.  During the recent debate on extending the Bush tax cuts, a lot of noise was made about how hard it would hit small businesses.... making over a quarter million dollars in NET profit each year.  That's a pretty good net income from anything "small".

Rick
Rick, Nancy, Peanut, Lola (Westies) & Bailey the Sheltie Dog
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