The oil spill in the Gulf has exposed another major issue in this country. The underground economy is alive and well. As taxes increase, many folks are simply avoiding the problem by working in cash.
Now a bunch of fisherman in the gulf are having a problem getting paid because BP wants to base payments on tax forms and they simply don't have them, or have seriously underreported their income.
This could get ugly as fisherman demand payments for income they can't prove, but likely earned. I feel sympathy for the fisherman, but can also see BP's point that they simply won't pay out based on verbal statements. Heck, I could say I was a fisherman who lost money.
There are reports that some fisherman are making $3,000 a day skimming oil, which eclipses what they would make if they were fishing.
So, what to do? If you come clean that you have under reported your income will that sic the IRS on the fisherman.
Don't really know where I come down on this because I feel no sympathy for BP, but if you have been working for years under the table you have reaped an incredible benefit for not paying your taxes.
I'd be interested in what you think.