When I do presentations at local business networking meetings, I am frequently asked these questions by people with significant tax liabilities:

  • What are my chances of being audited?
  • Am I going to lose my house?
  • Could I go to jail?

My firm, By The Book Taxes, located in Norwalk, CT specializes in income tax preparation for individuals, families and self-employed people. By the Book Taxes also helps clients resolve their tax debts by preparing and filing Installment Payment Agreements, Offers-in-Compromise, Currently Not Collectible and Innocent or Injured Spouse applications.

Over the next several weeks I will be writing a series of blogs on the resolution of payroll tax liabilities for businesses and their owners.

I have been told by experienced IRS collections officers that 75% of their large collection cases involve businesses that don’t forward payroll tax withholdings taken from employee’s wages to the federal government.

The Social Security and Medicare (FICA) taxes along with the federal income tax withheld from employees are considered “trust taxes” because the government “trusts” that a business will withhold them and then forward them to the US Treasury on a timely basis.

About 70% of the US government’s tax receipts are collected through payroll withholding.
Struggling or failing businesses often use these funds to pay their employees and vendors in order to stay open instead of sending the money to the government. Unscrupulous business owners embezzle the money to subsidize a lavish lifestyle.

Here is a link to a press release issued by the Tax Division of the US Justice Department regarding one of these cases:
https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/west-virginian-business-owners-sentenced-prison-failing-pay-employment-and-individual-income

If your business is falling behind on paying your payroll taxes and filing payroll tax returns, please call me before the IRS finds you. I can help.
Don’t be their next press release.