We Help With Payroll Tax Disputes

Business owners often find themselves ensnared in payroll tax controversies.

These controversies often arise from the late payment of payroll taxes or classifying employees as independent contractors rather than employees.  There are several settlement initiatives that can be helpful in these cases.

In other cases, payroll tax controversies arise where the employer fails to withhold or remit the payroll taxes to the government.  This often comes up when a business is struggling financially.  By withholding but not remitting payroll taxes to the IRS, the business has in effect taken out a loan from the government without the government’s consent.

Regardless of the cause, failing to timely pay over payroll taxes can result in penalties and interest in excess of the initial tax that wasn’t paid.

The IRS Has Broad Powers When it Comes to Payroll Taxes

Our tax laws give the IRS broad powers pursuing businesses that have unpaid payroll tax liabilities.  The IRS uses these powers and is particularly aggressive in pursuing businesses for unpaid payroll taxes.

This can put business owners in the position of having to shut down or sale their business, resulting in loss of employment and benefits for employers and employees and their families and loss of a hard-won business reputation. Employment tax problems can also trigger criminal liability. If that is not bad enough, the government may be able to pursue the business owner personally for the business’s unpaid payroll tax liabilities.

And even worse, interest on unpaid employment taxes cannot be abated. This is true even if the interest grows due to the IRS’s error or delay in processing the case.

The IRS recognizes its broad powers when it comes to employment taxes. The IRS employment tax levy is one example. This levy allows the IRS to take the taxpayer’s property without the procedural safeguards for other taxes.

Taking its cue from the laws granting these broad powers, the IRS has even asked a court for an injunction to force a taxpayer to comply with the employment tax laws–an unprecedented move–which the court rejected.

Common Payroll Tax Problems

While the IRS’s powers are broad, there are several situations that involve payroll tax problems. These problem areas come up again and again. They include:

  1. Employee vs. Contractor Classification Disputes
  2. Trust Fund Recovery Penalties
  3. Criminal Liability for Unpaid Payroll Taxes

An experienced tax attorney can help you navigate these problem areas.

Get Help With Your Payroll Tax Problem

An experienced tax attorney can help you understand your tax obligations for your employees and help resolve your payroll tax problems.  An experienced tax attorney can also help you review and structure your employee and independent contractor relationships so that your business does not run into these types of payroll tax problems.

Please call us at (713) 909-4906 or schedule an appointment with our payroll tax attorneys.

Recent Payroll Tax Problem Articles

More articles about employment taxes and trust fund penalties.