If my employer is being investigated by the dept.of labor and I get paid under the table, what will happen to me legally?

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If my employer is being investigated by the dept.of labor and I get paid under the table, what will happen to me legally?

I only work this job maybe 10 hours a week (I have another job that is on the books) and I don’t receive and benefits from the state or goverment. My employer is being investigated by the department of labor because there is no one on the books (their choice) and curious what will happen to me legally? Can I get arrested or have to go to court?

Asked on May 16, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

It is not likely you will be arrested for your employer's actions in paying people (including you) under the table, if you are not the person who made this decision and/or handled payroll. You could potentially be called to testify if there is any legal action taken against the employer. If you have not reported or paid taxes on your "under the table" wages, however, you have committed tax fraud. Should the IRS or state taxing authorities become aware that you have unreported income, at a minimum, you will be expected to pay the taxes you owe on it, plus likely some amount of penalty and interest. If you pay these amounts if the tax authorities seek them, you are unlikely to have any additional consequences beyond having to pay.


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