Payroll and Tax Lawyers in Fairfax, VA
Unpaid federal and state payroll taxes (also known as employment taxes) have the potential to destroy a business and to haunt the owners for years to come. “Payroll tax” encompasses a variety of federal and state taxes, including federal income tax withheld from employees, Social Security tax, Medicare tax, federal unemployment tax, withheld state income tax, and state unemployment tax. The IRS and state tax agencies are usually quick to respond when a business falls behind in filing or paying any of these taxes. They have the ability to close businesses that cannot stay in compliance or make adequate arrangements to repay the delinquent taxes, and to hold officers, directors, and even certain employees personally liable for what the business owes. The IRS and states can also hold persons responsible for paying these taxes criminally liable for the failure to file and pay, resulting in jail time and large fines or orders for restitution. In fact, prosecution for federal employment tax issues has remained an enforcement priority for the IRS Criminal Investigation Division over the last few years.
Behind on Employment Tax Filings and Deposits?
Most often, companies fall behind on their employment tax filings and deposits due to some sort of financial trouble. Some examples would be customers that do not pay in full or on time, unexpected expenses or losses like embezzling employees, lawsuits, or the loss of a critical business relationship with a bank or customer. But the decision to continue operating and issuing paychecks to employees without making the corresponding tax deposits is often disastrous. The IRS and state can exert additional pressure by demanding immediate payment of the unpaid balances. The result is temptation to skip current deposits in favor of paying the old balances. But this is almost always a critical error. The IRS and states will not negotiate payment arrangements with businesses that are not current on their deposit requirements. The business must get current and stay current before it is possible to fix the problems that have been created by the missed deposits. Contact the tax experts at Haynes Tax Law to help navigate your way out of situations like these.
Complex Strategies for Payroll Tax Cases
Payroll tax cases are often large and complex, involving large balances for even small and medium-sized companies, and including multiple tax authorities, especially if the employer is located in the D.C. metro area and has employees that live in Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia. It is important to develop a strategy for resolving such cases that takes into account all of the federal and state balances, finds a solution for the company’s ongoing compliance problems, seeks to normalize cash flow to permit the company to make timely deposits, and works with the federal and state tax authorities to prevent levy action that would make it impossible for the employer to stay current. Usually, employers also wish to avoid personal liability to the IRS and state through the IRS Trust Fund Recovery Penalty and “converted assessments” by the state. Our experienced tax lawyers can help!
Our tax attorneys have extensive experience assisting companies with payroll tax problems, from small companies with only a few employees to large employers operating in multiple states and countries. We also assist business owners, officers, and employees with exposure to personal liability from unpaid employment taxes. If you are seeking assistance with a federal or state employment tax problem, whether it’s for a tax audit settlement or anything else, please contact us by telephone or by using the contact us form at the top left of this page. Read our blog on Trust Fund Recovery Penalty for additional information.