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Panel says employers should pay the bill for workers who are off the books

By Rick Pluta, Michigan Public Radio Network

LANSING, MI – A new report says Michigan can do more to capture delinquent taxes and child support payments owed by workers in the underground economy.

The report was prepared by a Michigan Supreme Court task force. Among its recommendations - make employers responsible for past-due taxes and child support when they're caught paying their workers off-the-books. And it says employers they should lose their professional licenses if they have any.

Suzanne Hollyer of the Oakland County Friend of the Court served on the task force.

"I hope just the threat of it would encourage, show many employers the light: this is the way to operate their business - above-ground and legitimately - that it's not worth it to take the risk," Hollyer says.

The report also says government agencies should do more data-sharing to find businesses that pay workers "under the table," and to find scofflaws earning income in the underground economy without paying taxes or child support.

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