There’s a simple reason that the U.S. government allows companies to withhold taxes from their employees. By putting the burden on these companies to do the paperwork, there's less opportunity for individual employees to claim improper deductions or refuse to pay their Social Security and Medicare taxes. The downside of this arrangement is that, if a company doesn't withhold and forward its payroll taxes properly, it becomes a prime target for IRS penalties—which will often drive that firm out of business in an effort to collect back taxes.
The IRS Doesn't Care About Your Employees—Only About Their Money
In the current economy, many businesses are struggling to survive from day to day—and one last-ditch (but illegal) way to save money is by not paying the government the taxes withheld from employees’ paychecks. It doesn't matter to the IRS that you were almost bankrupt, or that you fully intended to pay back the taxes at a later date. In fact, failure to pay these taxes is classified by the government as out-and-out theft, a harder charge to plead down than simple tax evasion.
If you don’t regularly pay your payroll taxes, the IRS can:
- Legally seize your property
- Levy penalties for missed payments
- Force you to sell your business in order to settle the debt
It's important to realize that the IRS isn’t in the business of keeping your workers gainfully employed; this agency exists to collect money, and nothing else. This rule applies even if it’s a net drain on the U.S. government treasury to pay unemployment benefits to the 100 workers you had to lay off to settle the debt, compared to the back payroll taxes and penalties the IRS recovers.
The Law Offices of Travis W. Watkins Will Fight the IRS on Your Behalf
If you are a business owner who is being hounded for unpaid payroll taxes by the IRS, call the law offices of Travis W. Watkins at (800) 721-7054 for a free consultation. Our Oklahoma payroll tax lawyers have decades of experience defending clients nationwide against the government, and will work to secure the lightest possible penalties for your payroll infraction.