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Some Philadelphia construction sites violate tax, safety laws

10/5/2012 | Construction Blog, Real Estate Blog

According to the Philadelphia city controller, several residential and commercial construction sites across the city are engaging in “illicit business practices” and allowing unsafe working conditions on their sites. The recent investigation specifically into 23 active construction sites found 96 conditions that violated tax laws or public safety ordinances.

The report, called a “Review of City Tax Evasion at Construction Sites,” also found that contractors were compensating workers by cash or check in order to evade reporting wage and business taxes.

Among other findings in the report, it was discovered that subcontractors were not identified on various permits issued by the Department of Licenses and Inspections, which made it difficult to determine whether they were appropriately licensed at 19 of the construction sites.

The controller was reportedly unable to determine whether contractors or subcontractors had active business privilege licenses at six of the sites, but noted that it was likely that general contractors were avoiding taxes by not properly identifying all workers on active job sites and failing to comply with standards issued by the U.S. Department of Labor and the Office of Safety and Health Administration. Such standards include requirements that workers wear eye protection, hard hats and work boots.

For those in business, navigating the construction industry can be a daunting task. Aside from those who engage in illegal activity, it is easy to make mistakes and overlook matters. Having an experienced advocate can help with this.

Source: Philadelphia Business Journal, “Phil. Controller: Many construction sites in violation of tax, safety laws,” Natalie Kostelini, October 2, 2012