Government Stipends vs. unemployment payments

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Government Stipends vs. unemployment payments

I live in California. A county government is recruiting volunteer firefighters to staff fire stations. They offer a “$100 stipend” (their words) for each 24-hour shift (1 day) at the station. They have informed each recruit that the stipend is tax-free and should not affect unemployment payments, but that each recruit should consult with a tax expert. Is this true or a deceptive ploy to get more volunteer firefighters on board?

Asked on May 19, 2009 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

The county's advice might not be deceptive, and I wouldn't think that it was without something more, but there's a chance it could still be wrong.  I would take their advice and talk to an accountant (CPA), just to make sure, as they've suggested.

You might be able to get an opinion from a local tax attorney, as an alternative to a CPA. Qualified lawyers can be found in several places, including our website, http://attorneypages.com


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