Sunday, June 28, 2009

Freelancers' checks about to get lighter

Two tips from the very useful CNPA Legislative Bulletin:

1. As if it wasn't hard enough to make a living as a freelancer, a series of tax proposals moving through the legislature would require employers to withhold and remit to the Franchise Tax Board 3 percent of all payments made to independent contractors. Worse, if there are problems verifying your taxpayer identification number, the employer is supposed to withhold another 7 percent, for a total of 10 percent. CNPA reports that the proposal was supported by Democrats and opposed by Republicans.

2. Forget the state deficit. Assembly Speaker Karen Bass, D-Los Angeles, is apparently looking for ways to help trial lawyers make money. Her bill, AB524, would expand the anti-paparazzi law. The current law only subjects photographers to liability if they take pictures that invade the privacy of celebrities. Bass wants to hold liable the companies who publish those images, creating a new set of deep-pocketed targets for lawyers. Apparently there isn't much money in suing individual photographers. CNPA says it doesn't know of anybody who has successfully sued under the current law.

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