Running a business is filled with challenges. Choosing remote workers presents an even greater obstacle to overcome. But remote work is the biggest opportunity of 2021 and beyond, and is powerful for employees and businesses. As a business owner, you need to think through how to pick the right people. Are they right for the job? Is there anything in their background that could disqualify them? How do I train my remote staff? How to ensure they are fully qualified? And even how to stop tax fraud from happening.
Candidates who are fully qualified will have a lot of great qualities. You’ll want self-motivated individuals who can handle the challenges that come with working off-site. Look for workers who can pass a background check and don’t have anything too questionable in their tax or financial history. For employers in financial and tax industries, this is especially important. You need to do as thorough a check as possible for your accountants, bookkeepers, and financial planners.
Here are the top 3 ways you can reduce the risk of tax fraud amongst your remote staff.
While a simple background check seems pretty straightforward, they can leave a bit to be desired. If you want to ensure that the people you hire haven’t participated in tax fraud, you may need to do more digging. An employee background check is helpful if it reveals someone who has already been convicted of tax or financial crimes. It is not helpful for those who haven’t been convicted already.
Additionally, looking for individuals who haven’t participated in domestic violence is also important. While it may seem unrelated to the job, employees who have been convicted of assault and other DV crimes are a liability to your company. Especially if they work from home. You would not want to run the possibility of a crime taking place while they are technically on the clock and supposed to be working for you.
Check Their Taxes
You don’t need to see all the details necessarily. But you do need to know that your employees file them on time every year. Some other issues are whether or not they hold a high level of tax debt and if their income matches what they put on their application. Hiring remotely can feel like a gamble, but background checks and taxes give you a good amount of insight into the people you hire.
None of these things should instantly disqualify them, but they can give you important questions to ask during the interview process. You can watch how they respond when you ask them questions like, “can you explain why your taxes show you made $25,000 in 2019, but your application said that you made $105,000?” If they squirm or give other tells that they may be lying, they might not be the employee for you.
Pull Their Credit Reports
If you’re hiring staff to help others with their finances, but theirs are a disaster, it might not be a good fit. Employees who work from home should be trusted to give sound advice, and if they can’t handle their own money, they shouldn’t have access to other people’s money. These are red flags that they are more susceptible to the temptation of fraudulent activities, including tax fraud.
Now, there are instances where credit reports may look messy, but there are extenuating circumstances. A recent divorce, death in the family, and medical emergencies are a few reasons that may warrant still hiring the remote worker in spite of messy finances. If they can show other evidence that their credit report is a fluke and that the debt is recent and the result of urgent circumstances, you might still want to say yes to them if they are otherwise qualified.
Mitigating tax fraud in your company is crucial to the future of your business. Hiring the right remote workers in 2021 can help you reduce the risk of hiring people who will damage your business and your reputation. CEO’s are often held responsible even if the tax fraud was committed by someone else in the company. Unfortunately, they can’t always get away with saying, “I knew nothing about this.” As the leader of the company, you need to have a plan from the beginning. You should also be confident that everyone who works for you undergoes the same rigorous screening to ensure they aren’t going to commit tax fraud in their personal lives or in your business.