Friday, June 30, 2006

Pimps The Next Al Capone?

How did I miss the pimp tax announcement the other day? After watching the Daily Show early this morning, I went to check out the story to see what it really said.

Apparently Senator Charles Grassly wants to increase IRS funding by about $2 million for the agency to start an office dedicated to prosecuting pimps and prostitutes for failing to report and pay taxes on their illegal activities. As part of the bill, he wants to increase penalties against pimps and prostitutes. The one that draws the most attention is the provision where a pimp is liable for 10 years for each prostitute he/she fails to provide with a W-2 form.

And to add in the local angle, Carole Leigh, of BAYSWAN, has spoken out against. Ms. Leigh is an advocate for sex workers trying to make sure that the legal sex workers (or ones who she wants to help legalize) receive protections for their work as in any other job. In the CNN article, she was saying that although the idea was good, it threatened to spill over to legal sex workers instead of targeting underage girls and women who are forced into prostitution.

However, as someone (be warned, this would get a TV-MA rating) pointed out, prostitutes really seem to be independent contractors. And therefore, they should receive a 1099 and not a W-2 form. However, based on this definition, it would seem that if a traditional pimp (a la Huggy Bear) were involved, it looks like there is too much supervision involved. Although, after the EDD appeal I went to this week, I think it would make for an interesting hearing.


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