Home 2014 Races Is Barbara Comstock Dodging Taxes?

Is Barbara Comstock Dodging Taxes?

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From the DPVA:

Barbara Comstock has made taxes a campaign issue, lobbing baseless attacks on John Foust while completely ignoring her own tumultuous relationship with finances. What she hasn't said is that not only did her own property taxes go down since John Foust first became Supervisor, but it now appears that she has been mis-classifying campaign staff as independent contractors to avoid paying payroll taxes.

A look through publicly available tax records shows over a hundred thousand dollars spent on payments classified as consulting "Staff." Less was spent on payroll or salary payments. By classifying staffers as consultants, Comstock can avoid paying tens of thousands of dollars in payroll taxes and contributions to Medicare and Social Security.

According to the IRS, independent contractors are self-employed – like pollsters and marketing companies. Staff that perform services that are controlled by the employer – like staff knocking doors on a campaign – are employees, and should be treated as such: "If you classify an employee as an independent contractor and you have no reasonable basis for doing so, you may be held liable for employment taxes for that worker."

"Given Comstock's reluctance to do the right thing when it comes to financial dealings, it's unsurprising that she'd jump from ignoring legislative conflicts of interest to skimping out on thousands of dollars in payroll taxes and Medicare and Social Security contributions," said Morgan Finkelstein, press secretary for the Democratic Party of Virginia. "We're seeing time and again that Comstock says one thing and does another. It is pretty ironic that Comstock tries to campaign on taxes when she clearly has her own tax issues at hand."