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From Boom To Bust: A Bakken Oil Worker's Story (Part 2)

When we last heard from Joe, he was worried about how he would make ends meet since he had just lost his job in the Bakken oil fields of North Dakota.

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Even though Joe knows it will be an uphill battle, he decides to stick around and see if other oil companies are hiring. After all, his last job in the oil fields paid a lot more than he could earn anywhere else, which was the reason he moved to North Dakota in the first place.

Trapped In North Dakota

Unfortunately for Joe, the dramatic drop in oil prices means there are no oil jobs available, and he quickly burns through the last of his savings. In fact, given the countless other laid-off oilmen also looking for work, even low paying jobs such as mopping floors and picking up trash are hard to find. Eventually, things get so bad for Joe that he cannot even afford to leave North Dakota.

The Taxman Never Rests

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To make matters worse, Joe begins to hear rumors about the IRS going after unpaid taxes from oil field workers. This is not good news for Joe, especially since the oil company originally hired him as an independent contractor - meaning he was responsible for setting aside the money needed to cover his taxes.

The sad truth is that Joe was unable to save enough money to cover his taxes while he was working, so if the IRS comes after him now, he has no idea how he is going to pay his outstanding tax debt.

Lots Of Questions, But Where Are The Answers?

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Many questions begin to run through Joe's mind:

  • Will he lose his truck?
  • Is he going to go to jail if he can't pay his tax debt?
  • Will the IRS garnish his wages if he gets another job?

Sadly, Joe finds himself lost with no idea of where to turn for help - until one day, when a close friend offers him some important advice he can't ignore.


See what advice Joe's friend offers, and what answers he finds, in the third and final part of our "From Boom to Bust" series. Read the previous entry here.


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