cash_register.gif A New York Times article discusses software for altering cash register data to cook the books in order to pay fewer taxes. Interesting.
Locally owned businesses seem to have a long history of reducing their recorded income. When I was a teenager, I worked in a family owned restaurant in the Texas hill country. I remember that the owners would pay me from the cash register usually. When I receive my Social Security summary, I see that the owners did report some of my income, but the numbers are in the report are much lower than my actual income those years. So, it appears that a certain percentage of the owners’ business (income and expenses) just never got recorded.
A small family-owned restaurant that I frequent here in Austin is pretty brazen with their cash siphoning. You pay for your meal at the register, and I’ve noticed that about half the time I pay, they simply open the register and make change, not recording the transaction at all. Until recently, they only accepted cash, so it was pretty easy to do that. Now that they take credit cards, I don’t think they can manipulate the portion of their payments made by credit card–at least not as easily.
(Via BoingBoing)

Categories: Economics