Saturday, March 24, 2012

IRS Imposed More Than $200K In Tax Liens Against Esperanza Unida In Wisconsin

Robert Miranda

Esperanza Unida laid off 4 of the 13 employees it had left to save money.

By H. Nelson Goodson
March 24, 2012

Milwaukee - Last week, The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) filed a tax lien totaling $260,125 dating back to 2009 against Esperanza Unida, Inc., 611 W. National Ave. of not paying employee tax witholdings, including unemployment, Medicare and Social Security withholding revenue for the feds. Last month, the IRS revoked Esperanza Unida's tax exempt for failing to file non-profit organization tax reports for the last three years.
In February, the State of Wisconsin revoked the Esperanza Unida's daycare license for not paying $104,000 of unemployment compensation taxes to the state Department of Workforce Development. The state filed tax warrants totaling more than $104K against Esperanza Unida.
Robert Miranda, Executive Director of Esperanza Unida told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (JSonline) on Tuesday, that the agency has laid off four of its 13 employees that were left at the non-profit organization. The agency is facing a financial collapse and Miranda is now left to beg, borrow and trying desperately to do what ever possible to generate funds, according to JSonline.
Miranda is also trying to work out a payment plan with both the IRS and the State of Wisconsin Revenue Service.
Miranda's salary totals $48,000 per year and hasn't had a raise, since he took over the agency in 2005. As executive director, Miranda has barely kept Esperanza Unida afloat and operating in the last seven years.
Six months ago, Jose Toledo and Nydia Millan, who worked at Esperanza Unida filed a complaint with Voces de la Frontera (VDLF) about not getting paid in time. VDLF filed also filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) that Miranda terminated both Toledo and Millan in November 2010 for complaining to VDLF about not getting paid and receiving payroll checks that bounced.
Miranda fired both employees citing a confidentiality clause, but NLRB found that the clause was meant to protect trade or product secrets and not to bar employees from complaining about work related issues as payroll.
Miranda settled the case on April 27, 2011 by agreeing to reinstate both employees and pay Toledo in back pay wages with interest totaling $15,000 and Millan $7,371. Toledo had worked in Esperanza Unida for five years as a mechanic instructor, Millan had worked as a day care instructor, according to the NLRB case records.
In July 2008, about 20 Esperanza Unidad employees signed a petition against Miranda claiming they weren't getting paid in time.
On Saturday, Miranda in Facebook wrote, "there is no one at Esperanza Unida who has no been paid. Everyone is current paid. Everyone is compensated."
Some of Miranda's critics in the Latino community agreed, that Miranda should resign or should get ousted by the Esperanza Unida Board in the hope to keep the jobs training agency from shuting down due to a financial collapse.

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