I serve tables at a restaurant (California), and management (large corporate chain) insists we declare 18% tips on sales (whatever the outcome of the night) or face reprimand...
The restaurant is apparently under close scrutiny by the IRS, and the response to take eyeballs off is to require employees to declare a minimum 18% tips every shift. Now, the law "requires" we declare 100% of our tips, but where it gets a little dicey arrives with tipping out. Bartenders, back waiters, and bussers. After I tip them out (fixed amount based on sales), I'll be lucky to retain a 15% take-home ratio (especially on crappy nights/weekends).
Management insists it's the law that ALL tips accrued (before tip out) is the amount I'm expected to declare. I mentioned I thought it was odd to be taxed on earnings I don't take home, and then to have that same cash doubly taxed when the next person down the line (busser, back waiter, etc.) has to declare tips themselves. I was told to look it up. I did
, and the specifics don't seem to address this particular distinction (unless I missed it).
Anyway, "reprimand" includes getting written up and receiving limited sections and hours. I just care about making money, but I wanted to know what my specific rights are in this instance. I feel the employees are being "compelled" to declare more on most nights than we actually make, and I was curious about the legality of it all, specifically if what we're supposed to declare should reflect post or pre-tip out.