Blackwater / Xe / IDS / Academi - R2

Dedicado a las compañias privadas de servicios militares, seguridad e inteligencia.
Avatar de Usuario
Loopster
Jefe de Operaciones
Jefe de Operaciones
Mensajes: 3298
Registrado: 10 Ene 2007 12:32
Ubicación: 22 Bunker

Mensaje por Loopster »

Muchas gracias SR-71, se hace lo que se puede :wink:



Y ahora... las primeras imágenes del Polar 400 (dirigible de vigilancia y reco de Blackwater) en las pruebas que se hicieron el lunes en Elizabeth City:

Imagen

Imagen

Imagen

Imagen

Imagen


Noticia en Hamptons Road:
For nearly two years, Blackwater has been developing an airship to tap a growing government demand for aerial surveillance and security - from patrolling U.S. borders and coastal waters to guarding military bases in hostile lands.

Earlier this month, its efforts finally got off the ground.

Officials with Blackwater Airships, a business unit of the Moyock-based tactical training and security company, say they successfully field-tested a 170-foot prototype on the grounds of a former Navy air station here.

Called the Polar 400, the non rigid blimp is designed to be unmanned and remotely controlled from a ground station. It would carry aloft such payloads as intelligence-gathering cameras, radar, communications gear and infrared sensors.

During this month's testing, a company airship pilot operated the vehicle from inside a metal-framed payload cabin attached to the airship's underside.

By Monday, the blimp had logged three flights, ranging from 30 to 90 minutes each.

"It's very responsive. It's the most maneuverable blimp I've ever flown," said Blackwater test pilot Doug McFadden, who said he has worked for airship operators Lightship Group and Airship Management Services.

Alan Ram, head of production and business development for Blackwater Airships, was more emphatic: "We were literally blown away."

Distracted recently by attention focused on a Sept. 16 shooting incident involving the company's security guards in Iraq, Blackwater views the airship as a way to diversify its business products. The company also has begun production of an armored personnel vehicle, known as the Grizzly, in a Camden County facility.

The company sees potential to expand business with both. "Blackwater is in places in the world where they see firsthand the things that are lacking and that might be beneficial," said Anne Tyrrell, a Blackwater spokeswoman.

With a few engineering innovations, Blackwater hopes to turn a time-tested platform - the Navy used blimps to watch for enemy submarines in World War II - into a modern tool for combatting terrorism and for other 21st-century needs.

Hoping to wedge its way into a highly competitive market, the company is touting its airship as a lower-cost, longer-operating alternative to the fixed and rotary-wing unmanned aerial vehicles now widely used by the Air Force and other military services.

"We think it's a niche product with a lot of markets," Ram said.

The Coast Guard and federal Drug Enforcement Administration, for example, could use the airships to catch drug smugglers and monitor shipping channels. The Department of Homeland Security could fly them to thwart illegal border crossings, Ram said.

The military, he added, could employ them for an array of missions, including sentry duty for military bases and to provide surveillance for improvised explosive devices along convoy routes.

Blackwater plans to begin production of its blimps by the middle of next year. The airships and their components will be assembled at two facilities in Elizabeth City.

One is a massive, blue-and-gray hangar built in the early 1940s that once housed the Weeksville Naval Air Station, a Navy blimp base. The stadium-sized building sits in the middle of a large, open field off Blimp View Drive. Blackwater conducts its field tests there and shares space with the building's owner, TCOM LP, an airship developer that is making the air bags for the Polar 400.

On Monday, a Blackwater Airships crew was in the field with a small-scale airship used to test motors and other equipment for the Polar 400. As the model roared off, the engine growled like the fuzz-toned guitar at the beginning of Black Sabbath's "Iron Man."

Blackwater is making its move as the federal government has dramatically ramped up funding to develop and procure unmanned aerial vehicles, known as UAVs, since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and subsequent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

From 2000 to 2005, defense spending for UAVs increased to $2.1 billion from $284 million, according to the Congressional Research Service. The trend is expected to continue.

The increasing dollars have drawn plenty of companies to the market, including defense and aerospace giants Boeing and Northrop Grumman. Lockheed Martin and SAIC both are working on unmanned airship projects.

"Blackwater is attempting to enter a crowded market, and it would seem to me that they're going to have to have a pretty good story to tell - and maybe they do," said John Pike, director of GlobalSecurity.org, an Alexandria-based group that monitors military and homeland security issues.

"Companies like Blackwater are not going to have Iraq forever," Pike said. "They would have to be looking around to figure out other brand extensions they can develop that are relevant to their existing customer base."

The helium-filled Polar 400 is designed to operate at an altitude of around 10,000 feet and at top speeds of around 60 mph. Ram said the airship's purchase price should be around 50 percent less than the $6 million to $10 million that a typical fixed-wing UAV sells for.

The airship's operating costs also will be a fraction of that for a fixed-wing UAV, he said, because unlike rigid UAVs, the lighter-than-air blimp doesn't need to burn fuel to fly. Its V-8 diesel engine is used only to keep the airship on position, Ram said.

A key selling point is an innovative hydraulic propulsion system that company engineers developed. It has allowed lightweight hydraulic propeller motors to be mounted on the port, starboard and stern sections of the Polar 400, including a lateral thrust propeller that makes handling the craft easier at low speeds. That has eliminated the need for a large ground crew to help land it, Ram said.

"To my knowledge, no one has mounted an engine on a non rigid surface, and no one has used hydraulic propulsion to do it," he said. "That is really revolutionary in the airship industry."
Cry havoc and unleash the hawgs of war - Otatsiihtaissiiststakio piksi makamo ta psswia
Avatar de Usuario
Loopster
Jefe de Operaciones
Jefe de Operaciones
Mensajes: 3298
Registrado: 10 Ene 2007 12:32
Ubicación: 22 Bunker

Mensaje por Loopster »

Esto puede interesarle a elder, que preguntaba por los Blackhawks "en OPCON Blackwateriano" :wink:


Presidential Airways (BW Aviation) busca jefes de tripulación de Blackhawks, para entrenar a OEs de otro país (¿Afganistán comprando Blackhawks? quien será... será...):


Title: Blackhawk Crew Chief
Date Posted: 11-21-2007
Closing Date: Open Until Filled



Job Description Summarye:
Work directly for Project Manager supervising the training of foreign military Special Forces students for UH-60 Blackhawk Crew Chief duties. Responsible for planning, developing and conducting training curriculum to include crew resource management. Continuously assess skill level and proficiency of assigned personnel. Provide daily and weekly feedback to Project Manager on status of student performance and progress. Must be willing to live and work overseas for approximately one year. Perform other duties as assigned. Management of Special projects as assigned.

Description of Job Duties:
Must be a former E-6 or above with extensive experience as a Blackhawk Crew Chief.
Past duties as a Blackhawk Crew Chief instructor is preferred.
Must be a U.S. citizen.
Honorably discharged from the military.

Candidate must be able to provide training and standardization in the following areas:

Crew mission brief

Preflight inspection

Prepare aircraft for flight

Conduct passenger briefing

Internal load operations

Perform before starting engine through before leaving helicopter checks.

Radio communications procedures

Airspace surveillance

Hit check procedures

Fuel management procedures (200gal Roberson tank)

Fast rope operations (use 160th SOP only)

Slope operations

Emergency procedures

Emergency egress

Hand and arm signals

Refueling operations


Educational/Experience Requirements:
15 years exp with valid A&P License. Must have excellent writing and verbal communication skills. Must have at least 5 years supervisor experience. The ability to multitask. Need to be able to work simultaneously with various departments.

For consideration please Fax 252-435-0800 or send resume to:
Email Address: [email protected]bwair.com

Mailing Address:
PRESIDENTIAL AIRWAYS
Presidential Airways Human Resources
PO Box 849
Moyock, NC 27958
El contrato es con BW Aviation, e incluye la instrucción en técnicas de inserción por fast-rope desde Blackhawks siguiendo los procedimientos de los Nightstalkers... curioso.
Cry havoc and unleash the hawgs of war - Otatsiihtaissiiststakio piksi makamo ta psswia
Avatar de Usuario
Loopster
Jefe de Operaciones
Jefe de Operaciones
Mensajes: 3298
Registrado: 10 Ene 2007 12:32
Ubicación: 22 Bunker

Mensaje por Loopster »

Unas imágenes de Blackwater North, el centro de entrenamiento que han establecido en Illinois:

Imagen

Imagen

Imagen



Y ésta ha aparecido en MP.net, sacada del DVIDS, ¿de quién será ese C-212 que lanza suministros a baja altitud sobre una FOB en Afganistán?

Imagen

En efecto, de esa empresa que -como todo el mundo sabe- es odiada por los militares americanos, porque no hacen nada bien. Debe de ser que los Sherpa los "reservan" para otras cosas :twisted:
Cry havoc and unleash the hawgs of war - Otatsiihtaissiiststakio piksi makamo ta psswia
Avatar de Usuario
Loopster
Jefe de Operaciones
Jefe de Operaciones
Mensajes: 3298
Registrado: 10 Ene 2007 12:32
Ubicación: 22 Bunker

Mensaje por Loopster »

Lo último referente al tiroteo de Nisoor:

Blackwater lawsuit says order ignored
By LARA JAKES JORDAN, Associated Press Writer
Tue Nov 27, 5:40 PM ET



A lawsuit against government contractor Blackwater Worldwide accuses its bodyguards of ignoring a direct order and abandoning their post shortly before taking part in a shooting in Baghdad that killed 17 Iraqi civilians.

Filed this week in U.S. District Court in Washington, the complaint also accuses North Carolina-based Blackwater of failing to give drug tests to its guards in Baghdad — even though an estimated one in four of them was using steroids or other "judgment altering substances."

A Blackwater spokeswoman said Tuesday its employees are banned from using steroids or other enhancement drugs but declined to comment on the other charges detailed in the 18-page lawsuit.

The lawsuit was filed Monday on behalf of five Iraqis who were killed and two who were injured during the Sept. 16 shooting in Baghdad's Nisoor Square. The shootings enraged the Iraqi government, and the Justice Department is investigating whether it can bring criminal charges in the case, even though the State Department promised limited immunity to the Blackwater guards.

The three teams of an estimated dozen Blackwater bodyguards had already dropped off the State Department official they were tasked with protecting when they headed to Nisoor Square, according to the lawsuit filed by lawyers working with the Center for Constitutional Rights.

Blackwater and State Department personnel staffing a tactical operations center "expressly directed the Blackwater shooters to stay with the official and refrain from leaving the secure area," the complaint says. "Reasonable discovery will establish that the Blackwater shooters ignored those directives."

Additionally, the lawsuit notes: "One of Blackwater's own shooters tried to stop his colleagues from indiscriminately firing upon the crowd of innocent civilians but he was unsuccessful in his efforts."

The civil complaint offers new details of the incident that has strained relations between the United States and Iraq, which is demanding the right to launch its own prosecution of the Blackwater bodyguards.

The Justice Department says it likely will be months before it decides whether it can prosecute the guards, and it is trying now to pinpoint how many shooters in the Blackwater convoy could face charges. A senior U.S. law enforcement official confirmed Tuesday that government investigators are looking at whether the Blackwater guards were authorized to be in the square at the time of the shooting. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because of the ongoing investigation.

In an interview, lead plaintiff attorney Susan L. Burke said private investigators turned up the new evidence through interviews with people in Iraq and the United States "who would have reason to know." Those people do not include government officials, Burke said, and she declined to comment when asked if they include Blackwater employees.

The civil lawsuit does not specify how much money the victims and their families are seeking from Blackwater, its 11 subsidiaries and founder, Erik Prince, all of whom are named as defendants.

"We're looking for compensatory (damages) because the people who were killed were the breadwinners in their families," Burke said. "And we're looking for punitive in a manner that suffices to change the corporation's conduct. We have a real interest in holding them accountable for what were completely avoidable deaths."

The lawsuit also accuses Blackwater of routinely sending its guards into Baghdad despite knowing that at least 25 percent of them were using steroids or other "judgment-altering substances." Attorneys estimated that Blackwater employs about 600 guards in Iraq. The company "did not conduct drug-testing of any of its shooters before sending them equipped with heavy weapons into the streets of Baghdad," the lawsuit states.

Blackwater spokeswoman Anne Tyrrell said Blackwater employees are tested for drug use before they are hired and later given random quarterly tests. She said use of steroids and other performance enhancement drugs "are absolutely in violation of our policy."

"Blackwater has very strict policies concerning drug use, and if anyone were known to be in violation of them they would be immediately fired," Tyrrell said.

She declined comment on whether the bodyguards ignored their orders and abandoned their posts, or on other details outlined in the lawsuit.

Blackwater's contract with the State Department to protect diplomats in Iraq expires in May, and there are questions whether it will remain as the primary contractor for diplomatic bodyguards. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has said his Cabinet is drafting legislation that would force the State Department to replace Blackwater with another security company.

The State Department declined to comment on the case Tuesday, citing standard policy on pending legal matters. Deputy spokesman Tom Casey referred questions on the matter "to those involved in the lawsuit."

___

Associated Press writers Matthew Lee and Matt Apuzzo contributed to this report.

Vaya... así que ahora ir a preparar la extracción de Raven 4 fue un acto de desobediencia porque abandonaron su puesto, me pregunto si Prince le pedirá a las decenas de diplomáticos salvados gracias a la QRF y los Tactical Support Team (enviados a rescatar o proteger equipos atacados) que vayan al Congreso para que le expliquen a Waxman en que consiste eso de "abandonar su puesto".

¿Acusaciones de consumo de esteroides por parte de uno de cada cuatro contratistas? pufffffffffff, ya ha habido 3 despidos anteriores a esto porque los análisis de orina revelaron el consumo de anabolizantes, no ha sido nunca algo tolerado. De todas formas antes de meterse a acusar a nadie deberían saber que el equipo PSD del Teniente General Sánchez es famoso por sus "curiosos" resultados en los tests de orina. ¿Alguien ha dicho algo de píldoras para el aumento del pene? :twisted: (es lo que tienen las noticias dentro de La Roca, que vuelan... :roll: )
Cry havoc and unleash the hawgs of war - Otatsiihtaissiiststakio piksi makamo ta psswia
Avatar de Usuario
Loopster
Jefe de Operaciones
Jefe de Operaciones
Mensajes: 3298
Registrado: 10 Ene 2007 12:32
Ubicación: 22 Bunker

Mensaje por Loopster »

Un par de fotografías curiosas, no solo de Bells, Lil'Birds y Blackhawks vive Blackwater Aviation :wink:

Imagen
Foto de rigor con una "noun".

Imagen
No van solo pilotos en los vuelos.

Imagen
Descargando una pick up blanca sin matrícula...

Imagen
Esperando a que el helo esté listo
Cry havoc and unleash the hawgs of war - Otatsiihtaissiiststakio piksi makamo ta psswia
Avatar de Usuario
Loopster
Jefe de Operaciones
Jefe de Operaciones
Mensajes: 3298
Registrado: 10 Ene 2007 12:32
Ubicación: 22 Bunker

Mensaje por Loopster »

Solo una nota rápida, el número de Diciembre de la hoja de noticias de la Alumni Association ya está disponible en la página web de Blackwater:

http://www.blackwaterusa.com/images/pdf ... er%201.pdf

Si alguno se pregunta que hace Blackwater invirtiendo en generadores eólicos, recordarle que el Pentágono está dedicando un buen dinero a como conseguir la independencia energética de sus unidades :wink:
Cry havoc and unleash the hawgs of war - Otatsiihtaissiiststakio piksi makamo ta psswia
Avatar de Usuario
Loopster
Jefe de Operaciones
Jefe de Operaciones
Mensajes: 3298
Registrado: 10 Ene 2007 12:32
Ubicación: 22 Bunker

Mensaje por Loopster »

Renovación completa de la web de Blackwater Worldwide
Cry havoc and unleash the hawgs of war - Otatsiihtaissiiststakio piksi makamo ta psswia
Avatar de Usuario
Loopster
Jefe de Operaciones
Jefe de Operaciones
Mensajes: 3298
Registrado: 10 Ene 2007 12:32
Ubicación: 22 Bunker

Mensaje por Loopster »

Patadita en los morros a Waxman :twisted:
BW Worldwide Press Release escribió:Blackwater's Model Of Using Independent Contractors Is Consistent with Law and Good Practice.


For Immediate Release
December 03,2007


Executive Summary

In an October 22, 2007, letter, Congressman Henry Waxman, the Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, accused Blackwater Security Consulting, LLC (“Blackwater”) of “significant tax evasion,” claiming that Blackwater “violated federal tax laws” by treating its security personnel as independent contractors, rather than employees. Chairman Waxman fails to cite a single decision by a federal court or a precedential ruling from the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) in support of his position. Instead, the Chairman’s entire argument rests on a non-precedential form determination letter – a letter issued by a low-level IRS technician in response to an inquiry from a single disgruntled contractor. This is hardly the kind of foundation upon which to build such serious allegations. As further explained below, the Chairman’s allegations are incorrect. Blackwater has fully complied with federal law.

Blackwater has more than 500 workers in the United States that it classifies as “employees” for tax purposes. These workers perform the kinds of jobs performed by workers throughout America. They include secretaries, IT professionals, paralegals, landscapers, and accountants. Along with the more than 500 employees, however, Blackwater also hires highly-specialized military veterans to serve as security for American officials throughout the world. These men and women only work several months at a time. They are deployed thousands of miles from home, often to war zones, where they are subject to the control, supervision, standards, and protocols of the United States government. It is these workers Blackwater classifies as independent contractors. One result of this classification is that the applicable income, unemployment, Medicare, Medicaid, and other taxes are paid to the U.S. Government via the tax returns of the contractors rather than Blackwater.

Contrary to the Chairman’s allegation, this classification is in complete compliance with federal law. Section 530 of the Revenue Act of 1978 - a provision not discussed in the Chairman’s letter - provides a Congressionally approved “safe haven” for a business that considers its personnel “independent contractors” as long as the business has a “reasonable basis” for doing so. A taxpayer has a “reasonable basis” if, among other things, it acts in reliance on the advice of an accountant.

Blackwater’s decision to treat its security personnel as independent contractors falls within the scope of Section 530’s “safe haven” and is not, therefore, “tax evasion.” First, when it decided to classify its security personnel, Blackwater obtained the advice of a large, nationally-recognized accounting firm on this issue. Over the years, it has relied upon that advice to develop and extend its policy on the treatment of its security personnel. Second, since that time, it has received further legal analysis from a law firm confirming that it is entitled to the protections of Section 530. Though the Chairman’s letter does not address Section 530, that provision proves that Blackwater has complied with the law.

So, too, Blackwater’s decision to treat its security personnel as independent contractors is good practice. For both Blackwater and its personnel, the independent contractor model provides the kind of flexibility that the employer/employee relationship does not. Most contractors being sent into a war zone do not wish to sign on for years on end. Instead, they prefer to have the flexibility to schedule their work in a way that is convenient for them and their families. Under Blackwater’s system, they can do just that. Such a system also benefits the government. Without having to force personnel to serve for years in a war zone, Blackwater can greatly reduce burnout, thereby providing more effective service to its government partners. For all involved, therefore, the model works. Just as with thousands of other businesses, Blackwater’s use of independent contractors is a reasonable, effective, and legal business model.

Blackwater takes its obligations under the Internal Revenue Code very seriously. Over the years, it has satisfied its required federal tax filing obligations and paid the government the taxes that it owes. When Blackwater classified its security personnel as independent contractors, it acted in compliance with the law and in a manner that made sense for its business and its workers. Any allegations to the contrary are incorrect.

I. Blackwater Is Entitled to Section 530’s “Safe Haven” For Those Employers With a “Reasonable Basis” For Treating Their Personnel As Independent Contractors.
Although Chairman Waxman’s letter spans 13 pages, he never once cites the guiding legal provision: Section 530 of the Revenue Act of 1978, Pub. L. No. 95-600. That provision came into existence in response to what Congress perceived as overly aggressive efforts by the IRS to reclassify independent contractors as employees. Section 530 established a moratorium on the reclassification of workers as employees for federal employment tax purposes if the taxpayer had a “reasonable basis” for treating the workers as independent contractors. Originally intended as an “interim” relief measure while Congress studied the issue, Section 530 was soon extended indefinitely by the Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982, Pub. L. No. 97-248.

In simple terms, Section 530 provides a “safe haven” for a business that classifies its personnel as “independent contractors” for tax purposes as long as the business has a “reasonable basis” for doing so. A taxpayer has a “reasonable basis” if its treatment of the worker as an independent contractor was in reasonable reliance on (A) judicial precedent, published rulings, technical advice or a letter ruling to the taxpayer, (B) a past Internal Revenue Service audit in which there was no assessment attributable to the treatment (for employment tax purposes) of the individuals holding positions substantially similar to the position held by this individual ; or (C) long-standing recognized practice of a significant segment of the industry in which such individual was engaged. A taxpayer who does not meet any of the three “safe havens” may nevertheless still obtain legal protection if it can demonstrate, in some other manner, a reasonable basis for treating the individual as an independent contractor. As Congress has explained, a “reasonable basis” should be construed liberally in favor of the taxpayer. H.R. Rep. No. 95-1748, 95th Cong., 2d Sess. 5 (1978), 1978-3 (Vol. 1) C.B. 629, 633.

Without question, Blackwater meets the requirements of Section 530, and is, therefore, entitled to treat its security personnel as independent contractors. Blackwater has consistently filed all required Forms 1099 MISC for its security personnel and has not treated these individuals as employees. In addition, several years ago, it consulted a large nationally-recognized accounting firm regarding the treatment of its personnel. It relied upon the advice of this accounting firm to develop and extend its policy on the treatment of its security personnel as independent contractors. Shortly after receiving the October 22, 2007, letter from Chairman Waxman, Blackwater again consulted with this accounting firm and received consistent advice.

This accounting firm is not the only tax professional that agrees that Blackwater is entitled to the protections provided by Congress under Section 530. In May of this year, Blackwater retained the services of a law firm to represent it in a matter before the IRS. In a filing with the IRS, that law firm concluded that Blackwater had reasonably and correctly classified its workers as independent contractors and, therefore, was entitled to the protections of Section 530’s “safe haven.” (Exhibit A).

Finally, the Small Business Administration (“SBA”), as part of a routine size determination, considered whether certain Blackwater security workers should be classified as independent contractors. The SBA applied its own standards, including the criteria used by the IRS in making its determination. It found that the workers in question were properly classified as independent contractors. Although the SBA size determination is for government procurement purposes, this determination further validates Blackwater’s prior classification of its deployed professionals as independent contractors for tax purposes.

For these reasons, Blackwater’s decision to classify its security workers as independent contractors was a reasonable one, entitled to protection under Section 530’s safe haven. Based on this provision alone, Blackwater has no underpaid employment taxes and it may continue to classify its security workers as independent contractors.

II. In His Letter, The Chairman Incorrectly Relies On An Unreliable SS-8 Determination Letter.

Rather than apply Section 530, Chairman Waxman’s letter relies, instead, on a form letter written by an IRS technician from a field office. There are significant problems, however, with the Chairman’s reliance on such a document.

A. The SS-8 Determination Is Unreliable.
First, the SS-8 determination letter relied on by the Chairman has little, if any, legal effect. As the letter itself states, it “may not be used or cited as precedent.” (Exhibit B, at 5). Unlike letter rulings issued by the IRS National Office involving common law issues, these SS-8 determinations are not published. They are not considered an examination, and therefore no assessment of employment taxes can be made based upon a conclusion reached in one of these letters. Compared to Section 530, a well-established, reliable, and Congressionally-imposed “safe haven” designed for cases like this one, an SS-8 determination letter is of significantly less legal weight.

B. The IRS Field Office Did Not Have a Full and Open Adversarial Process Before Issuing Its Determination.

Second, the SS-8 determination letter was not the result of a full and open adversarial process. The IRS determination was not the result of a lawsuit or even a formal administrative proceeding. Instead, it was the result of a request from a contractor who, in an effort to obtain a determination of his status for tax purposes, completed a Form SS-8 and filed it with the tiny IRS SS-8 office in the small town of Newport, Vermont. Nothing more.

Unfortunately, these SS-8 determinations are frequently one-sided. In this case, for instance, the IRS field office made its decision based only upon information provided by the worker. Occasionally, individuals classified as independent contractors become disgruntled and file SS-8 Forms with the hope that the IRS will grant them a tax refund. Many are motivated to provide one-sided or, in some cases, completely fabricated factual assertions in order to obtain a ruling that they are employees. There is little to stop them from doing so since, unlike other requests, there is no fee for obtaining an SS-8 determination.

In the present case, the IRS provided Blackwater with little meaningful opportunity to participate in the process. At the time of the determination, Blackwater had not seen the facts provided by the independent contractor and had no way to evaluate whether the contractor’s answers were accurate and complete. At no time during the process was Blackwater afforded the opportunity to explain or explore any bias or motivation on the part of the contractor making the request. To make matters worse, the IRS did not even acknowledge Blackwater’s own position on the matter when it issued its determination on March 30, 2007. Blackwater’s responses to the questions on the Form SS-8 were provided to the IRS on March 29, 2007. (Exhibit C). The IRS letter at issue, however, was dated March 30, 2007 and did not reference any of Blackwater’s facts or analysis. (Exhibit B).
At that point, Blackwater had only one option: to request that the IRS reconsider its findings. With the assistance of tax counsel, Blackwater submitted a request for reconsideration to the Internal Revenue Service Office in Newport, Vermont, on May 15, 2007. (Exhibit A). Consistent with the advice that Blackwater received from its tax advisors, this legal submission concluded that Blackwater’s decision to classify its workers as independent contractors both fell within Section 530’s “safe haven” and was correct under the “20-factor test” established by the IRS and frequently used by the federal courts. (Exhibit A). To date, the IRS field office has neither responded to Blackwater’s submission nor altered its one-sided March 30, 2007, determination letter.

C. The IRS Technician Made Several Significant Errors In the SS-8 Letter.
The SS-8 determination letter relied on by the Chairman is riddled with legal and factual errors. Some of these errors are obvious. The IRS technician reached a conclusion without reviewing or considering Blackwater’s own filings in the case; and, when faced with a legal opinion that Blackwater’s decision was correct, the technician remained mute. Standing alone, these errors are sufficient to undermine the reliability of the SS-8 determination. Nonetheless, the IRS technician made several other significant missteps that cast doubt on the Chairman’s sole reliance on the SS-8 determination letter.

First, the technician failed to properly apply the IRS’s own training materials on two of the three testing elements that the IRS now employs when deciding whether a worker is an independent contractor. See Independent Contractor or Employee? Training Materials (“IRS Training Materials”) Training 332-102 (10-96) TPDS 84238I. The IRS Training Materials mandate that the IRS’s approach to worker classification focuses on three elements: (1) Behavioral Control, (2) Financial Control, and (3) Intent of the Parties. Id. at 2-7. On the issues of “behavioral control” and “intent of the parties” the technician misapplied IRS guidance.

Although Blackwater retains some degree of control over its independent contractors, most if not all of the operational controls over Blackwater’s contractors are either carried out or imposed by the United States government. In fact, under the contract with the Department of State at issue in the IRS determination letter, the government required Blackwater to impose significant conditions and controls on its contractors. Under that contract, the United States government established or controlled: the selection, qualifications, and performance of security professionals; their work assignments; the rules, regulations, and manner in which they can operate in a war zone; where they live; and even their off-duty conduct. (Exhibit D, at C.3 – C.4). Blackwater’s contract with the Department of State provides that a “[federal Agent-in-Charge (“AIC”)] will have on-site authority over the operational units.” (Exhibit D, at C.7.1). Likewise, Blackwater’s subsequent WPPS contract with the Department of State provides that “[t]he Contractor shall ensure that all work performed under this contract is accomplished with the applicable standards/standard operating procedures, general orders and specific orders issued by [the Department of State] . . . .” WPPS Contract (No. S-AQMPD-05-D-1098) (“WPPS II Contract”), SOW at C.4.1.1. Under the established contract terms and protocols, therefore, the government imposed the vast majority of the operative controls.

In making his determination, the IRS technician failed to consult the IRS’s own internal position on controls imposed by governmental agencies. In discussing the Behavioral Control element, the IRS has specifically addressed the relevance of controls imposed or otherwise mandated by governmental agencies such as the State Department. If a business requires its workers to comply with rules established by a governmental agency, “the fact that such rules are imposed by the business should be given little weight in determining the worker’s status.” IRS Training Materials at 2-11. For this reason, the technician misapplied the IRS training materials on the issue of “behavioral control.”

The technician also misapplied IRS training materials on the issue of “intent of the parties.” In this case, the parties voluntarily signed a contract expressly classifying the worker as an independent contractor, not an employee. Under the IRS training materials, the contract is evidence of the parties’ intent that an independent contractor relationship was formed. In close cases, in fact, the contractual designation not only has merit, but is “very significant.” IRS Training Materials at 2-22; see Ill. Tri-Seal Products, Inc. v. United States, 353 F.2d 216, 218 (Ct. Cl. 1965).

Unfortunately, the technician ignored this clear guidance as well. Instead, the technician stated that “any contractual designation of the employee as a partner, coadventurer, agent or independent contractor must be disregarded.” (Exhibit B, at 2). It is true that the parties cannot create an independent contractor relationship merely by saying so, if all other evidence compels the conclusion that the worker is an employee. But, that is not the case here. An accounting firm and a law firm have concluded that Blackwater had a reasonable basis for its determination that its worker was an independent contractor (Exhibit A), the 20-factor test shows that Blackwater’s designation was correct (Exhibit A), and the contracts between Blackwater and its personnel clearly state that the workers are independent contractors. In such a case, the intent of the parties not only matters, but is “very significant.” Ill. Tri-Seal, 353 F.2d at 218.

Finally, the technician did not consider the many cases relied upon by Blackwater in its common law analysis. In assessing whether a business has properly classified a worker as an independent contractor, the IRS typically applies its “20-factor test.” In fact, in its letter request for reconsideration, Blackwater’s outside tax counsel exhaustively analyzed this test and the case law that applies it, concluding that Blackwater’s security workers are independent contractors, not employees. (Exhibit A, at 7-15). Instead of applying this case law, however, the technician inappropriately relied on three very old IRS revenue rulings relating to driving instructors, car rental agencies and used car dealers. All predate Section 530. In fact, the most of recent of these rulings is almost 40 years old.

When ruling on the SS-8 determination in this case, the IRS technician did not apply Section 530, did not mention an exhaustive 15-page analysis of the issue by Blackwater’s tax counsel, misapplied the IRS training guidance, and overlooked relevant case law. A decision fraught with such legal, factual, and procedural errors is not entitled to any deference. Perhaps that is why the IRS itself has indicated that such a determination is not precedential. For the same reasons, Chairman Waxman was wrong to use that decision as his sole basis for a public allegation of “tax evasion.”


III. Blackwater’s Treatment of Its Workers As Independent Contactors Did Not Result In An Underpayment of Taxes.

In his letter, Chairman Waxman stated that Blackwater’s classification of its workers as independent contractors somehow resulted in a massive underpayment of federal taxes. Once again, the Chairman’s claim is incorrect.

Treatment of the workers as independent contractors does not result in employment taxes being underpaid to the Department of Treasury. Whether Blackwater’s workers are employees or independent contractors, all employment taxes are still owed and are paid to the Department of the Treasury. If the workers are employees, Blackwater merely acts as the intermediary or conduit temporarily holding trust fund taxes on behalf of the workers and the United States. If the workers are independent contractors, however, then the contractors themselves must pay these taxes to the United States directly. The issue, therefore, is not whether taxes are paid to the Treasury. It is whether Blackwater withholds those taxes and transmits them to the Treasury or whether the workers bear that responsibility. Even if we were to assume that Blackwater mistakenly classified its workers as independent contactors for purposes of argument, it would not alter the total taxes owed or the amount of revenue flowing into the United States Treasury.

What would alter the flow of revenue, however, is Chairman Waxman’s incorrect position that the IRS technician’s SS-8 determination should control. Right now, Blackwater owes no employment taxes to the United States Government because it falls squarely within Section 530’s “safe haven” for those businesses that have a “reasonable basis” for classifying their workers as independent contractors. (Exhibit A). The SS-8 letter does not change Blackwater’s protection under Section 530’s “safe haven.” If, however, Chairman Waxman had his way and the SS-8 letter applied to all Blackwater personnel, it would have a significant effect on the amount of taxes flowing into the Treasury by Blackwater’s independent contractors. As for taxes paid in the past, the field determination letter would erase the contractors’ obligation to pay Self-Employment Contribution Act (“SECA”) taxes and would cut in half their obligation to pay FICA taxes. In other words, Blackwater would owe no employment taxes, but the U.S. Treasury would owe those contractors a substantial refund. As for taxes due in the years to come, under the SS-8 determination letter, the contractors will only owe one-half of future FICA taxes, but will still be entitled to full social security benefits. In short, if the technician’s informal and non-precedential decision is given the weight that the Chairman accords to it, this could result in a significant underpayment of federal employment taxes.

IV. Conclusion
Fortunately, the U.S. Treasury need not suffer such adverse consequences. The IRS technician’s SS-8 letter is not precedential, and it has no reach beyond the specific facts at issue in that letter. (Exhibit B, at 5). Any claim that the SS-8 letter is entitled to significant weight is simply incorrect.

What is entitled to weight in this case are the precautions taken by Blackwater to ensure that its classification of its security personnel was correct. Over the past several years, Blackwater has engaged an accounting firm and a law firm to assess its classification of its security workers as independent contractors. Both reached the same conclusion: Blackwater’s classification was reasonable and correct. Under Section 530 – a provision never analyzed by the IRS technician or even mentioned by Chairman Waxman – Blackwater’s decision is legally protected. Reliance on the advice of outside advisors on complex worker classification issues that have remained unresolved by Congress, the courts, and the IRS for more than 50 years cannot constitute tax evasion. For these reasons, and the ones set forth above, the Chairman’s allegations to the contrary are simply incorrect
Porque tal y como dijo Pyro hace mucho, "súbeme el sueldo tio, si quiero un seguro dental o una mochila de 300$, ya me apaño yo" :lol:
Cry havoc and unleash the hawgs of war - Otatsiihtaissiiststakio piksi makamo ta psswia
Avatar de Usuario
Loopster
Jefe de Operaciones
Jefe de Operaciones
Mensajes: 3298
Registrado: 10 Ene 2007 12:32
Ubicación: 22 Bunker

Mensaje por Loopster »

Sencillamente... tenía que ponerlo :D


Imagen
Cry havoc and unleash the hawgs of war - Otatsiihtaissiiststakio piksi makamo ta psswia
SR-71
Aspirante
Aspirante
Mensajes: 49
Registrado: 14 Oct 2007 20:04
Ubicación: Mare Nostrum

Mensaje por SR-71 »

EL foco de localizacióm antiáéreo me ha recordado Batman...
Los pilotos de los LittleBird´s verdaderamente tienen que ser unos
figuras, porque en los sitios que se tienen que apoyar, las filigranas
que hacen para meterse en callejones y todo esto bajo fuego...
tiene tela. mucha tela.


Saludos.
SR-71
Semper Fidelis.
Responder

Volver a “Private Military Companies, PMCs”