Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105
For Immediate Release: February 16, 2010
Sen. Andrew Rice
Committee Approves Tax Fraud Legislation
The Senate Business and Labor Committee approved legislation Monday
to stop tax fraud in the state when employers improperly misclassify
workers as “independent contractors” to avoid paying
unemployment and other taxes. Senate Bill 1384, by Sen. Andrew
Rice, would allow the Oklahoma Tax Commission, Oklahoma Workers’
Compensation Court and Oklahoma Employment Security Commission to
share information and coordinate investigative and enforcement efforts
in order to find employers who intentionally misclassify individuals
as independent contractors rather than employees.
"This is an effort to empower these three key agencies to address
this issue that they know exists but simply don’t have the
staff to focus on it. By allowing them to share information, though,
they could reduce employee misclassification and help bring in millions
of dollars of lost tax revenues," said Rice, D-Oklahoma City.
"Most Oklahoma businesses properly classify their workers,
but we can't turn our heads from those who don't. Being that these
agencies can't afford to hire more staff to address this issue,
it only makes sense to let them collaborate and help each other
find the violators."
Misclassification can leave employees vulnerable by denying them
coverage under certain antidiscrimination, leave and labor standards
laws as well as denying them access to employer-provided health
insurance coverage and pension plans. Misclassification can also
affect how federal and state programs, such as payment of taxes
and payments into state workers’ compensation and unemployment
insurance programs, are administered.
SB 1384 will next be heard by the full Senate.
For more information contact:
Sen. Rice: 405-521-5610