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April 09, 2019

When contractors cheat, we all pay

Opinion Tax Fraud

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Limited - KML OpEd The Keystone Mountain Lakes Regional Council of Carpenters/for PhillyVoice

Tax fraud hurts everyone. It’s estimated that $450 billion in tax revenue is lost every year due to tax fraud – and that’s a serious problem. However, if you think this problem doesn’t affect you, think again.

When employers don’t pay the proper wages, taxes, and insurances for their employees they are stealing from our communities. Those taxes represent money that could help fix our bridges, build schools, reduce class size, take care of our veterans and shore up the social safety net. That’s money that could create jobs, shore up our infrastructure and make our countries stronger for everyone. That’s money that belongs to all of us as taxpayers—and it should be used for the public good. So if employers are breaking the law and not paying their fair share, who picks up the bill?

Most Americans do pay their fair share of taxes, but those honest workers and contractors are picking up the slack left behind by those who don't. The construction industry is a haven for corrupt contractors who use tax fraud techniques to line their own pockets while we all suffer. They are taking advantage of all of us by avoiding paying employment taxes, overtime, and workers compensation and unemployment premiums. They are deliberately misclassifying workers, paying on average 64 cents to the dollar less than those who are classified correctly - and those deficits add up.

Decades of lax rules and lack of enforcement have given a green light to fraud, but enough is enough! It is time our elected officials and government agencies take action to stop this theft of much-needed revenue from our local, state and federal treasuries. It’s time to enforce our laws and stop the tax cheats for taking advantage of their fellow Americans.

In honor of Tax Day, on April 15th the brothers and sisters of the Keystone + Mountain + Lakes Regional Council of Carpenters are speaking out and spreading the word about the dangers of tax fraud to our communities. Our members are showing up to rallies and events throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington, DC to highlight these problems and work towards solutions.

Please join us and thousands of carpenters across the country in calling for change by visiting There you can tell your representatives that you want the laws on the books enforced and change made today.