Hourly pay question

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Waitressing Newbie in Bluffton, South Carolina

107 months ago

Hi there.

I'm new to waitressing ... I've only been at it for about a month so far.

Here's my question: I get paid $2.19 hourly, plus tips, which are usually between $50 and $100 per shift. My last paycheck was for only $23 for two weeks worth of base salary work (74 hours). $139 was taken out in taxes.

Does this sound normal? I guess I'm being taxed on both my tips and hourly pay ... it just seems like such a small amount a lot of work.

Thanks so much for your help!

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terra in Mchenry, Illinois

107 months ago

Hi where i live it is 4.50 an hour plus tips .. I generally make about 150.00 a shift .. My checks are about 140.00 +/- every 2 weeks ... We do not get taxed on our tips how can they tax our tips they don't know what we make LOL thats my bosses statement anyways

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kate in Perth, Australia

99 months ago

i get $10 a hour and im only 15 lol. and where i work is, like, deserted anyways ayy so the work is real easyy

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bear in Piedmont, South Carolina

96 months ago

terra in Mchenry, Illinois said: Hi where i live it is 4.50 an hour plus tips .. I generally make about 150.00 a shift .. My checks are about 140.00 +/- every 2 weeks ... We do not get taxed on our tips how can they tax our tips they don't know what we make LOL thats my bosses statement anyways

Its called IRS

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Afton in Billings, Montana

92 months ago

I am not required by my employer to report tips but I want to on my taxes so that I dont get in trouble. How do I do this on my tax form does anyone know?

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Mary inTampa in Tampa, Florida

92 months ago

Your boss is making a lot of money. $2.19 an hour, when minumum is now about $7.00, is quite low. When you claim your tips, claim about 70 percent of what you actually get.

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sockergirl in Little Rock, Arkansas

90 months ago

so can your employer change your claimed tips without your knowledge.

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Nono in Newark, Delaware

90 months ago

sockergirl in Little Rock, Arkansas said: so can your employer change your claimed tips without your knowledge.

no they can't. but you should comfront them if you ever have any questions about your pay check and tip claims. there really needs to be an orgaization just for tipped/more specifically restaurant tipped employees for this kind of inquiry. Most people just aren't sure of what their legal rights are and the employers much too often take advantage, knowing this which in some cases reflect on those employees who are hired. If anyone knows of any such organization, please let us know. Thanks in advance!

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Wendy in Akron, Ohio

89 months ago

I make $3.55 and hour and I make about $50-$100 a night. I claim about 3/4 of what I make in tips and I had to pay taxes this year! I am not sure whether I am claiming too much of my tips or too little. Does anyone know why I have to pay taxes this year?

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rj92589 in Bloomingdale, Illinois

88 months ago

samantha in Pendleton, Oregon said: isnt that illeagal to only get paid that much? where im from your boss would get like arrested for under paying you. $8 an hour and tips are not taxed. i make like $500-$600 every 2 weeks.

do some ppl realllly not get taxed on tips??? I live in illinois and i get paid 4.65/hr plus tips BUt all of our credit cards are claimed for us plus we have to claim our cash tips! i dont kno if this is legal but everyone claims 10% of their total sales for the day...is this legal? ;-(

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food server in White Plains, New York

88 months ago

rman24 in Benton, Illinois said: where do you people work that you're making $150 a shift? I work at Applebees and typically make 50-60 on a long day shift, and 70-110 on a close night shift Help!!

You need to find employment in a higher end restaurant. People tip on the total of their bill and if, you are good, extra. Do the math. Two steaks @ Applebees for $20 is, at best, a $4 tips. Those two steaks at another restaurant would cost $50+ which should yeild a $10 tip. Stay away from restaurants offerring all you can eat, and other ridiculous specials. They attract people who are very budget minded....unfortunately, many of them cut corners when they tip. And, also, tipping isn't mandatory. If you are a great server you should make great tips. Get out of Applebees, it is essentially a diner.

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Adriana in Houston, Texas

87 months ago

bcd in Raleigh, North Carolina said: Waiters do not get paid min. wage. They get between 2.15-and if your w/ a union anywhere from $8-15/hr. Yes, it sounds correct. If you say you are making 50-100 a shift and you work 5 shifts, then at $75, thats $750 every two weeks. I think you are just inexperienced and with any industry you have to have experience to make $. I have been in the industry for 15 yrs and last year on paper alone I claimed 45,000. I only work 5-6 hr. shifts.
How long are your shifts?
What are the opportunity costs?
How hard do you actually work?

Where do you work, that's pretty good money for waiting tables?

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Adriana in Houston, Texas

87 months ago

That is pretty good money for waiting tables! $45K a year!

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Cassie in Taylor, Michigan

86 months ago

HELP!!!!! NEED ADVICE...
My employer is paying me $3.50 an hour, and claiming $4.00 and hour. I've worked at this place just over a month, and havent received a paycheck. On most nights I'm lucky to bring home $30. (something is better then nothing right now) in case's like this to where the employer is claiming more then I'm making "WHAT DO YOU DO?" I would like my paycheck. and I want her to stop claiming money I'm not making....
Has anyone had issues like this? WHAT DID YOU DO? The employer hasn't even had me fill out my paperwork for TAXES how can she do this?

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food server in White Plains, New York

86 months ago

Cassie in Taylor, Michigan said: HELP!!!!! NEED ADVICE...
My employer is paying me $3.50 an hour, and claiming $4.00 and hour. I've worked at this place just over a month, and havent received a paycheck. On most nights I'm lucky to bring home $30. (something is better then nothing right now) in case's like this to where the employer is claiming more then I'm making "WHAT DO YOU DO?" I would like my paycheck. and I want her to stop claiming money I'm not making....
Has anyone had issues like this? WHAT DID YOU DO? The employer hasn't even had me fill out my paperwork for TAXES how can she do this?

You need to report this person immediately!

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me in Forest Park, Illinois

86 months ago

All servers, are required to pay 8% on their tips. No matter what, otherwise when you file your taxes you will be required to fill out an allocated tip form and you will pay higher taxes for that year. You employer is required by law to show this on your check.

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crazy_one in San Antonio, Texas

86 months ago

Crazy_one in San Antonio, Texas said: I too have started working as a waitress and I have a lot of questions. How can I post a question so people can help me answer them?

I'm sorry I can't help you but I too have a similar problem. I make $2.15/hr. plus tips, which for 5 hours I'm lucky if I make $15.00, does the employer have to pay me what I would have received if I made min. wage? For example: $2.15 x 5 = $10.75, plus tips $15.00 = $25.75.
If I was receving just min. wage I would get $5.75 x 5 = $28.75. Since the Hourly wage is more would that mean they would pay me the salary that exceeds that amount? The rest. is fairly new and there is often times when the rest. closes I stay 1 1/2 to 2 hrs. cleaning---is that time still waitress hourly pay?
Thanks so much!

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Nono in Newark, Delaware

85 months ago

Don't know about illegal but it doesn't sound legal, fair, or right and it's certainly shady enough for anyone in their right mind to want to LEAVE that job ASAP! However, it seems there is more to this story than is written. If your boss is telling you to claim money that you have tipped out to bartender, runner, servers assistant, etc then NO you should NOT claim that money. WHY? Because that would mean that THEY are having to claim the tips the server tipped out which means that someone is claiming the same money twice. I'm just speculating here because there isn't enough information to go on. :)

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benjamin in Mcallen, Texas

85 months ago

i have to claim 15 percent of my sales and i live close to the border and mexicans dont tip 15% they tip 10 so i dont make that much. Every employee working there is questioning about our tip claims.

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latenighter in Fredonia, New York

85 months ago

I make 4.60 a hour, sounds low and can be if things are slow where you work, i agree most people do not tip 15% it is mostly closer to 10%, or even more sadly none at times. Always claim what you make, no more no less. You'll find that overall it evens out. time at a job will bring in more regulars that will come back not just for the food but awesome service! These customers generally tip outrageously and tend to make up for poor tips from other quests. The more you like your job and the more optimistic you are, the more you can make. the paycheck it pretty much just for tax reasons but keep track of your own tips and figure up your average wage....most of the time it is not to shabby.

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Mika in Vienna, Virginia

85 months ago

Matt in Edinburgh, United Kingdom said: You should work in UK - im in small cafe which pays just slightly above minumum wage at £5.40 (about $10) an hour plus tips. And I do not get taxed on tips and pay only about £12 a month on tax! You guys got it hard in the states

Yes that's because we deal with greedy people running the country

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student in Johannesburg, South Africa

84 months ago

hi im from south africa and i would like to study overseas at ORU(oral roberts university).... but i would like to do part time waitressing to cover my expenses... is it worth it waiteressing or what career would you suggest? I enjoy cooking, waiteressing, dancing, acting, singing... im excellent with children, im very patient, i am very cheerfull and i would not like to work in a career which involves alchahol!
thank you

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old timer in White Plains, New York

84 months ago

If you do not want to work in a job that involves alcohol, then stay out of the restaurant business. Get a job as an au pair. However, working in a restaurant is an excellent way to make fast cash.

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Jorgab in Asheville, North Carolina

82 months ago

Waitressing Newbie in Bluffton, South Carolina said: Hi there.

I'm new to waitressing ... I've only been at it for about a month so far.

Here's my question: I get paid $2.19 hourly, plus tips, which are usually between $50 and $100 per shift. My last paycheck was for only $23 for two weeks worth of base salary work (74 hours). $139 was taken out in taxes.

Does this sound normal? I guess I'm being taxed on both my tips and hourly pay ... it just seems like such a small amount a lot of work.

Thanks so much for your help!

The government requires every penny you make to be reported to them, and yes they will tax you on your tips. Avoiding paying taxes by not reporting your tips could lead to an audit by the IRS so I sure don't recommend that. What a lot of people don't realize is every employee as well as the employer would be audited if the amount of money made is not reported.
I have been in the business for a while now, and am currently the GM of a restaurant.
What people don't understand is it is not the business that is taxing you, the government taxes the business and its employees.

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Old Timer in White Plains, New York

82 months ago

terra in Mchenry, Illinois said: Hi where i live it is 4.50 an hour plus tips .. I generally make about 150.00 a shift .. My checks are about 140.00 +/- every 2 weeks ... We do not get taxed on our tips how can they tax our tips they don't know what we make LOL thats my bosses statement anyways

Your boss is a jerk. Tips used to be free money, but they are not anymore......you are looking at a future of big fines and penalties. Would not go public on this anymore. The government assumes that you are making at least 8% of your sales in tips. If you are not, then you are in the wrong business. Two things that are absolutes: death and taxes!

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Old Timer in White Plains, New York

82 months ago

Waitressing Newbie in Bluffton, South Carolina said: Hi there.

I'm new to waitressing ... I've only been at it for about a month so far.

Here's my question: I get paid $2.19 hourly, plus tips, which are usually between $50 and $100 per shift. My last paycheck was for only $23 for two weeks worth of base salary work (74 hours). $139 was taken out in taxes.

Does this sound normal? I guess I'm being taxed on both my tips and hourly pay ... it just seems like such a small amount a lot of work.

Thanks so much for your help!

That is normal. And yes, you are being taxed on your tips. You have to consider your tips as part of your total income, because that is exactly what they are....your income...hence, income tax.

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Old Timer in White Plains, New York

82 months ago

Wild Orchid in Orlando, Florida said: Wow! I didn't know waitresses/waiters had it so bad! It does seem like it's a lot of work for little pay.

Please, do the math. This person is making $150 a night, plus the money in her check....DO THE MATH!

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Benjamin in Mcallen, Texas

82 months ago

Well my deal, we have to claim more than what we make if not we get written up.

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Dawn in Newark, Delaware

82 months ago

I can't believe after all this time, people still don't know right from wrong. Ladies and gentlemen please, if you're going to go into a business KNOW what you're getting into before you get into it. There is no such thing as fast/quick cash these days!
IF you are working in a place where you're getting ALL your tips at the end of the night (verses getting your credit card tips in a pay check)you are responsible (not always the employer/but sometimes the employer) to claim your tips. By law you are responsible I believe for claiming minimum of 8% plus 100% of your credit card tips.(at least that's what it was when I was in the business) Taking in consideration of what you tip out to the appropriate help IE: bar, bus, etc... Rule of thumb, if you are also getting paid less then minimum wage IE: $2.13 or whatever it is now, and you're still getting something in your pay check your boss may not be taking enough tips out for you. And you need to have a conversation with them ASAP! AND QUESTION WHY? Also, this means they are not paying into unemployment, etc. or something to that nature. Incidentally, the more you claim you make the better off you'll be in the end. (unemployment, social security, loans applications, rental applications, credit cards applications, etc) I was in this business for over 20 years. It's gotten bad enough to where I will never do it again. Too many shady employers. I hope this was a little bit helpful. ~end rant~ :P
Good luck everyone.

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Old Timer in White Plains, New York

82 months ago

Exactly what I have been trying to get across for months.
However, unemployment does not calculate your tips into the equation. But, if one is into the business for the long run, declaring your tips will definitely benefit your social security income.
All you people that cannot grasp why your paycheck is zero have to do the math.....what did you make in tips? Divide your weekly tip total by the number of hours you worked and that is your hourly net income. I have been in this business for thirty years and average about $30-40/hour after tipping out. Never get a paycheck and, often times, I owe money at the end of the year. I can't complain, that is more than I make working (what non-restaurant people call) a real job.

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Old Timer in White Plains, New York

82 months ago

Mika in Vienna, Virginia said: Yes that's because we deal with greedy people running the country

PLEASE!

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Old Timer in White Plains, New York

82 months ago

Then you need to get another job and report this employer to the department of labor.

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Old Timer in White Plains, New York

82 months ago

Mika in Vienna, Virginia said: Yes that's because we deal with greedy people running the country

How old are you?

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Dawn in Newark, Delaware

82 months ago

From one old timer to another....
To: "Old Timer in White Plains, NY" Congratulations for your years of doing what you're doing! I applaud you and your feet, and back, neck, wrists, knees, hips... lol You get the idea. Whew! You go!!! I don't know about you but this business isn't what it used to be is it?!?!

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Old Timer in White Plains, New York

82 months ago

Sadly, this business is not what it was. Although you mentioned your lack of interest due to unscrupulous employers, there are some good ones out there. Unfortunately there are alot of hacks. What I find so disenchanting is the lack of manners and restaurant etiquette. Perhaps I am too old fashion, but, what is wrong with manners and the niceties of past......the old are as bad as the young. I had parents look at me as if I had 3 heads when I asked their son to remove his baseball hat, just to mention a simple one.
And the kids coming into this business, in general, have no clue or work ethics.
Yes, my back, neck, feet and various other parts ache at the end of a shift, but my kids are going through college!
So, I shall continue for a few more years. Thanks for commenting.Take care of that back!

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Old Timer in White Plains, New York

82 months ago

Although you mentioned your lack of interest due to unscrupulous employers, there are some good ones out there. Unfortunately there are alot of hacks. What I find so disenchanting is the lack of manners and restaurant etiquette. Perhaps I am too old fashion, but, what is wrong with manners and the niceties of past......the old are as bad as the young. I had parents look at me as if I had 3 heads when I asked their son to remove his baseball hat, just to mention a simple one.
And the kids coming into this business, in general, have no clue or work ethics.
Yes, my back, neck, feet and various other parts ache at the end of a shift, but my kids are going through college!
So, I shall continue for a few more years. Thanks for commenting.Take care of that back!

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markv in Elizabeth, New Jersey

82 months ago

Waitressing Newbie in Bluffton, South Carolina said: Hi there.

I'm new to waitressing ... I've only been at it for about a month so far.

Here's my question: I get paid $2.19 hourly, plus tips, which are usually between $50 and $100 per shift. My last paycheck was for only $23 for two weeks worth of base salary work (74 hours). $139 was taken out in taxes.

Does this sound normal? I guess I'm being taxed on both my tips and hourly pay ... it just seems like such a small amount a lot of work.

Thanks so much for your help!

Waitressing Newbie: It does seem that you are being taxed too much. I'm not an accountant, but work for tips too (delivery). If your state is assuming that you make minimum wage, you're taxed based on that figure. But it seems that since you're losing over 25% in taxes,(compared to the 20% you should be)maybe your employer is reporting that between tips and sal, you're making above minimum wage. Speak to him or her (or the payroll person)about that, and good luck. markv in NJ

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markv in Elizabeth, New Jersey

82 months ago

Sorry, correction: When your EMPLOYER (not state, sorry) reports that you're making minimum wage, you are taxed off that figure. But since you're being taxed over 25% of that (if your state's min. wage is close to mine in NJ,- which is now $7.25/hr.) as opposed to the normal 20%, maybe your employer is reporting that you make more than your state's minimum. I am not an accountant, but work for tips, too, and this seems high. You really should not be losing more than 20% of your total sum of tips and hourly sal.

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MJJ in Logan, West Virginia

81 months ago

Crazy_one in San Antonio, Texas said: I'm sorry I can't help you but I too have a similar problem. I make $2.15/hr. plus tips, which for 5 hours I'm lucky if I make $15.00, does the employer have to pay me what I would have received if I made min. wage? For example: $2.15 x 5 = $10.75, plus tips $15.00 = $25.75.
If I was receving just min. wage I would get $5.75 x 5 = $28.75. Since the Hourly wage is more would that mean they would pay me the salary that exceeds that amount? The rest. is fairly new and there is often times when the rest. closes I stay 1 1/2 to 2 hrs. cleaning---is that time still waitress hourly pay?
Thanks so much!

I have had the same question before at the place i work. I only make $2.14/hour and some days i might make $40 or $50 on a 11 or 12 hour shift if i'm lucky. I asked one of my manages that question several months back and she said the reason that we don't pay you what you don't make to equal min wage is because you make well over min wage on the weekends and it evens out. I thought that it was on a day to day basis and they had to pay you to put you up to min wage. And at the time when i asked her the question that really was the case. But now on the weekends is when i have been working double shifts (12hrs) and i'm only making between $40 and $80 on a WEEKEND!!!
Can anyone tell me if they can do that?
And as far as my taxes my managers automatically claim 8% of the total cost of food that i sale. For instance i may serve a table that orders $200 worth of food and if they they don't tip it doesn't matter that 8% of $200 is still considered what i made in tips and it is taxed!!!
Does anyone know if that's right?? Can they do that??

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Cathy the X Bugsy's Waitress in Alexandria, Virginia

81 months ago

terra in Mchenry, Illinois said: Hi where i live it is 4.50 an hour plus tips .. I generally make about 150.00 a shift .. My checks are about 140.00 +/- every 2 weeks ... We do not get taxed on our tips how can they tax our tips they don't know what we make LOL thats my bosses statement anyways

They assume you're making 15% of your total sales. So the way it's all calculated is from your hours worked and whatever the restaurant is claiming you sold.

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DPM in Albuquerque, New Mexico

81 months ago

I'm getting paid "3.00" an hour and I make 80-100 a night in tips almost 130 to 140 a night on the weekends,I work about 25-30 hours a week and my check comes out to 140 to 150. I get taxed 135+ but I get no more than 5 dollars a paycheck? I feel like I'm getting taxed way too much. Any idea why?

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server in White Plains, New York

80 months ago

I agree with what you said, except the part about telling the customer you are busy, etc.
Greet them with a warm hello...I will be right with you, pick up your food and take their drink order on your way back to the kitchen.....

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Chelsea in Freeport, Illinois

80 months ago

I live in freeport, il which is really close to Mchenry. You are "supposed" to claim all of your tips. However like they said, the IRS assumes 15% of your sales. When I clock out at night, I have to claim tips... the reason you claim the tips is for the government to tax you. On each paycheck you should see your earnings from your hourly pay... which is around 4.80 here... and then you should also see your tips claimed for that pay period. The taxes that are deducted from your check are based on your hourly + tips. That is why my paychecks don't even come close to what i should be making from just my hourly pay.

My employer watches what we claim. We have to be claiming at least 8-15%... that's just to keep the audits from coming our way. If you don't claim any of your tips, you're asking from the IRS to come. Just be careful.

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schammond in La Center, Washington

78 months ago

I work in a restaurant in Wa. State where our minimum wage is well over $8.00 an hour. My complaint is that because of the economy the owner has had our shifts cut considerably and has the managers working those shifts. One of the managers is on salary and she works at least an 8hr shift making tips and NOT reporting them. When we have charge tips those are automatically reported to the IRS. The cashiers have found a way to have the managers charged tips changed in to cash tips so they are not reported. This is so highly illegal on so many levels it just blows my mind. IRS are you listening?

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m1 in Stowe, Vermont

78 months ago

Can an employer legally pay a waitress tips only No hourly pay??

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CWeathers in Newton, Kansas

78 months ago

Girly in Newport News, Virginia said: ?! Why does everyone think waitresses and waiters have it so bad because we get paid $2-3/hour?? That's *not* saying that for a 40 hour week we are only making between $80 and $120! That is how much you make as an hourly wage, you also make tips, between $15 and $200 per NIGHT depending on where you work, how hard you work, and how well people tip you. You do declare your tips, and yes you are taxed on them, in the end, between your tips and your hourly wage you ARE making more than minumum wage, and being taxed on it.

Now matter what someone makes hourly or with tips. I was told you have to get paid minumum wage at least. What I mean is that I was told that at the end of the week when your boss cuts your checks you have to have made at least minumum wages every shift you worked. What do you know about this? I just got hired as a waitress today!

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server in White Plains, New York

78 months ago

you are correct. It is assumed that your tips will bring your income up to or beyond minimum wage....if you come out short, by law, your employer must make up the difference.

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W in Plain City, Ohio

78 months ago

Just to add to everyone's comment because I know why an owner would report higher incomes for their employees. My friends used to work for contract and some employer reported high income for their employees and employees don't find out until they get 1099, or W2 for normal people. They have to pay more tax than they actually make. If they don't pay, IRS will get them.

The truth is the employer was trying to cheat his way around the tax system. He reported his income in the employees' income, so he have to pay less tax.

For example: An employer makes $60,000 and an employee makes $20,000. Employer reported $50,000 for himself and reported $30,000 for the employee. The employer pays tax of $50,000, but getting the full benefit of $60,000. The employee pays tax tax of $30,000, but only make $20,000.

Don't let any employer report more income than you actually make! PERIOD!

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texaswillie in Addison, Texas

77 months ago

Let me see if I can shed some light on this issue. IF you are subject to federal law (The Fair Labor Standards Act)there are strict pay requirements. The law is complicated.In addition some states have laws or regulations covering this same subject. I will, hit just the highlights. A waitperson much receive more than $30 monthly in tips to be classified as a "tipped employee". That should not be a problem with most wait staff. The employer MUST inform each employee about the tip credit allowance (including amount to be credited) before the tip credit is utilized. The employer must be able to show that the employee received at least the Minimum Wage when the direct wages and the tip credit allowance are combined. The employer must allow the employee to retain all tips, whether or not the employer elects to take a tip credit for tips received.Let me use an example. The employee is paid $2.13 per hour and during the evening shift of six hours gets $25.00 in tips. Total wages eared i $$12.78 plus $25.00 for a total of $37.78 divided by the six hours for an hourly rate of $6.29 per hour. The employer must make up the difference so the employee get at applicable MW. While I used an example of a day, you should use the workweek. Add all the hours in a workweek and multiply those hours times the hourly wage received then add the tips. If you end up with lass than the applicable MW , you are underpaid and the employer is requirement to make up the difference. Remember I wrote this is a complicated law. Let's assume the employer lets you eat from the menu and claiming you are eating a certain amount of food each day. He can claim credit however there are strict rules to follow in claiming his by the employer. It does not mean he get to claim $9.95 for a hamburger from the menu. There is also an overtime requirement for those who work over 40 hours in a workweek. There is time and one-half for those hour and that will be based on the applicable MW.

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mshock in Glen Burnie, Maryland

76 months ago

Angela Murphy in Dublin, Ireland said: Hey
Just lookin for some help we are heading to New Jersey for the summer on a working visa. Any resturants etc which you could suggest as places where we could apply for jobs would be greatly appreciated. Also just wondering what are the average hours people are working in retsurants (how many days off etc). We would be hoping to go to New Jersey itself!!
All help greatly appreciated

Hi,
When I was college age, I waitressed 2 summers in Ocean city, Md. Pay was good, stayed crowded most of the time until the end of the summer, since you're going to NJ, check out Ocean city NJ or Wildwood, I've been there on family vacation, it's very nice, good luck, have fun..

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