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AXIUM payroll company goes under


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#1 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 10 January 2008 - 06:57 PM

http://www.latimes.c...u...1&cset=true

At first I thought, "I'm glad I'm not waiting for a paycheck from them"...

... but now I realize that I am waiting for my W2's from them. I wonder if I'll ever get them, and if not, how do I get around that? I do have all the stubs, so I know how much I earned, etc.
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#2 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 10 January 2008 - 07:28 PM

http://www.latimes.c...u...1&cset=true

At first I thought, "I'm glad I'm not waiting for a paycheck from them"...

... but now I realize that I am waiting for my W2's from them. I wonder if I'll ever get them, and if not, how do I get around that? I do have all the stubs, so I know how much I earned, etc.



Yes, you can. I am in the same situation, actually . . . Found this, hopefully it will help us. Click on the link and go to the bottom of the page, there are some links there . . .

"The Daily Beery Blog has a post up entitled "What to Do if Your Payroll Company Suddenly Closes." The post points out the particularly disastrous tax season timing of Axium's closure. As it is shut down, Axium presumably will not be able to send out W2s to the employees of all the productions it has handled this year. Furthermore, given the circumstances, cast and crew employed by Axium in 2007 may want to make sure that their withholding taxes were properly filed by Axium to the IRS. The site links to EFTPS Online, the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System, which allows workers to do this."

http://www.filmmaker...ory-unfolds.php

Edited by saulie rodgar, 10 January 2008 - 07:30 PM.

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#3 John Sprung

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Posted 10 January 2008 - 08:16 PM

... but now I realize that I am waiting for my W2's from them. I

My tax guy has a way of dealing with any kind of missing third party forms. In my case it was mostly 1099 INT or DIV. If you go on extensions past August 15, the IRS will, with your authorization, send to a CPA of your choice copies of whatever forms they have.

E-mail me if you need a great tax accountant. I've been using him for 24 years. He's up in Westlake Village now, so it's a schlep to take him the paperwork. But he knows his stuff and can probably save you a grand or more over DIY or H&R.




-- J.S.
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#4 Paul Maibaum ASC

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Posted 10 January 2008 - 08:30 PM

David,
You should be getting an e-mail from Local 600 addressing the Axium issues. I forwarded a copy to you as well.
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#5 Bill Totolo

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Posted 11 January 2008 - 01:48 AM

Strange, I drove by Axium at about 5am this morning (I work next door) and the lights were already on, with two guys in fancy cars smoking cigars out front.

Didn't think too much of it at the time, now I wonder...
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#6 Hal Smith

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Posted 11 January 2008 - 11:11 AM

The small business CPA I've been using for years doesn't pay much attention to 1099's, etc. from my clients. She makes certain I deposit all my income and calculates taxes based on my deposits. If a client doesn't send me a 1099 it's no big deal because if I ever were to get audited I've got a good electronic "paper" trail of my own in my Quicken and bank records. The IRS won't have any issues with me, any IRS issue will be between them and any client who hasn't followed IRS regulations with respect to 1099's and other filings.

If there's any suspicion that Axium hasn't been sending withholding payment money into the IRS, I suggest you contact the IRS immediately and ask them what you should do. The IRS keeps records of inquiries and even though it may create a huge financial hassle for you if Axium screwed up, the IRS won't bring any criminal charges against you if they know you're being up front with them. I could have got myself into a huge tax hassle (of my own making) about ten years ago and my CPA advised contacting the IRS, bringing all the paperwork up to date, and making certain the IRS knew that I intended to pay what I owed them. The end result was they forgave about five years of taxes owned, arranged a very fair payment schedule over three years, and never audited me.
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#7 John Sprung

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Posted 11 January 2008 - 01:48 PM

If there's any suspicion that Axium hasn't been sending withholding payment money into the IRS, I suggest you contact the IRS immediately and ask them what you should do. ..... about ten years ago and my CPA advised contacting the IRS, ....


I'd strongly recommend getting your own CPA first. Laws change, policies change, and what another CPA advised someone else to do may not be the right thing for you. It's sort of like taking someone else's prescription medicine.




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#8 robert duke

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Posted 14 January 2008 - 12:29 AM

Not to Rub salt or anything but when I heard and read all the news about Axium I freaked.
I usually have to wait til late febuary to get all my W-2's but I knew that any from Axium would not be coming. 2006 I did half my work under Axium. So I knew when I heard about Axium I would be in for it as would THousands of filmmakers like me. I avoided digging into my paystubs to see who was the show that used Axium this year. I waited and sweated for two days, I didnt tell my wife, etc. Finally while walking the dog I told her and she began to worry. I went straight to the file drawer and went through my paystubs for the year. Not a One. Entertainment partners, Premium payroll, Producers Payroll, Showpay, all the others but not a single Axium.

My heart goes out to everyone who did work an Axium show this past year. My heart really goes out to all the Productions that have just lost their deposits and some of their payrolls. I have heard some real horror stories about this blow to production. I have always felt that production was a small world and we were all a family, from the actors to the back office to the accountants. I feel as if this makes for a traitor in our ranks. I wonder if that feeling of commradery will ever return.

I wish all of you the best in this time of two fold crisis.
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#9 Richard Boddington

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Posted 14 January 2008 - 10:43 AM

The IRS won't have any issues with me,


I hate to be a downer but in my experience with the IRS and Revenue Canada, they all work the same way, they will screw over the self employed in a heart beat!!

Tax law is so complicated, tens of thousands of pages in both Canada and the USA, that the government doesn't even understand its own laws. Accountants certainly can't figure it out, ten accountants will give you ten different returns using the same data. They all interpret the tax laws differently.

No matter how honest a business owner thinks they are the taxman will always find an issue.

The whole thing is quite insidious for small business owners. The taxman knows not to waste their time with giant corporations, they have billions to fight the taxman with. The taxman won't waste his time with a guy getting one W-2, they already get his money at the source.

But a small business owner, well, as far as the taxman is concerned there's a fat chicken ready to be plucked. They don't trust small business and they can't control people that get their money before the tax dept does. This makes them audit the self employed at a much higher rate than those that work for others.

R,
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#10 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 15 January 2008 - 04:38 AM

I got screwed this summer when I was on a movie that shut down 3/4 of the way through the shoot. I still haven't been paid any of the money they owe me (close to $10,000.00). Well, guess who the payroll company was? Of course, it was Axium. Lucky me! So now I have an even smaller chance of getting paid (the union has been zero help). I'm also waiting on a check from Avalon, but I think the production company is going to work that out and pay another way.
Incidentally, does anyone know a good bulldog attorney who would like to go after some producers and a production company for me? Anyone ever had to do this? What's the best plan of attack?
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#11 John Sprung

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Posted 16 January 2008 - 08:26 PM

What's the best plan of attack?

First, $10k isn't a whole lot to be going after. My real estate litigation has already racked up probably about $60k in attorneys fees. First thing, talk to everybody else who didn't get paid on the same movie, see how much the total is for all who want to fight. Then look at the guilty parties and determine whether they have any assets. If not, any judgment you win is just an expensive piece of paper. If the case passes both those tests, let me know and I'll recommend a couple law firms offline.




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#12 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 20 January 2008 - 06:58 AM

First, $10k isn't a whole lot to be going after. My real estate litigation has already racked up probably about $60k in attorneys fees. First thing, talk to everybody else who didn't get paid on the same movie, see how much the total is for all who want to fight. Then look at the guilty parties and determine whether they have any assets. If not, any judgment you win is just an expensive piece of paper. If the case passes both those tests, let me know and I'll recommend a couple law firms offline.

-- J.S.

You're absolutely right John. 10K is in a nasty gray area that's too much for small claims and too small to be able to pay an attorney much. This is what makes it as bad as it is for me. Of course, 10K is a whole lot of money for me, and I would like to be paid what I'm owed.
With the way some of these companies are structured, it seems like you need a team of attorneys and forensic accountants to figure out what's what. But again, that's not possible for the amount of money we're talking about. And yes, I know any judgment might not be worth the paper it's printed on. But can/should I really allow myself to be taken advantage of to this extent? I sure don't think so, but at what cost?
I know the producers have plenty of money (don't worry, they got paid in full for the job and still drive their S500's), but getting at it is a whole other matter.
Some people on this movie were literally trying to steal the camera and lenses when we shut down to try to make sure they got paid. We put the kabosh on that, but I share their frustration. In this particular environment (strike) I could really use that money. And I worked pretty god damed hard for it! It's just a tough spot for a little guy like me to be in. I'm just stuck and I don't know what to do, and this Axium shutdown is one more reminder that we're all one small step away from getting screwed.
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