Wednesday, September 4, 2013

12-Year-Old Targeted By Idaho Tax Commission For Raspberry Stand

A 12-year-old boy in Pocatello is being targeted by the Idaho Tax Commission for setting up a small raspberry stand without giving the state a percentage of his profits.


Tayson Weeks, who decided to sell raspberries from his family’s farm to save up for a small motorcycle, was confronted by the tax commission on his second day selling to local residents. Following an earlier accident that landed him in the hospital with a concussion, Tayson hoped to spend his summer learning how to properly save money through the raspberry stand.
“He wanted to buy himself a little Honda pit bike. I told him he’d have to pay it for himself,” said Jason Weeks, the boy’s father.
According to Jason, the Tax Commission handed his son a tax form and gave him until Oct. 15 to send the state 6 percent of his earnings. The piece comes following a report by Anthony Gucciardi detailing how, meanwhile, a top bureaucrat works for around 2 hours per day and makes over $400,000 in cash paid for by union workers.
“When I was young, I would sell farm-grown produce from a stand in Park City and no sales tax was involved,” Jason told the Idaho State Journal.
According to Saul Cohen, a tax policy specialist for Idaho’s Tax Commission, it wouldn’t be fair to let the young boy make a few dollars on the side without being taxed.
“What the youngster is doing is selling tangible products. Our mission is to advance fairness in collection,” said Cohen.
Whether or not Tayson plans to pay the state or even continue with his raspberry stand is currently unknown.
What was once considered a healthy, educational and entrepreneurial childhood activity in America has now seemingly become criminal behavior. Children across the country selling anything from cupcakes to lemonade are being shaken down for cash or threatened for not having the “proper papers.”


In 2011, a 4-year-old in Coralville, Iowa, had her lemonade stand shut down by police after officers informed her father that she needed a $400 vendor permit and a health inspection to operate.
That same year, police in Georgia closed a lemonade stand started by three girls who wanted to save money to go to a local water park. The girls were told they needed a business license, food permit and a peddler’s permit to sell lemonade on their own property.
Police in Montgomery County, Mayland, shut down a lemonade stand that was donating 50 percent of its profits to a pediatric cancer center. The children’s parents were also slapped with a $500 fine.
Activists, protesting the county-wide crackdown, set up a rouge lemonade stand on the lawn of the capitol in Washington, DC. Police eventually arrested the stand’s operators after being enraged by tourists and children ignoring their demands to not purchase the lemonade.

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