“I’m not paying payroll taxes”

By Jamie L. Harris

One of the major common financial mistakes that I see business owners make is failure to pay employment taxes. As many businesses are facing limited cash flow, too often payroll taxes go unpaid as business owners opt to pay other debts. The payment of such taxes should be a priority when cash flow is sparse. As an employer, your failure to timely pay employment taxes to the IRS can result in penalties, levies, and the filing of tax liens against the company. In addition to assessments against your company, the IRS can assess you personally for employment taxes. This will result in similar collection efforts against you personally including levies of your personal accounts or the filing of tax liens against your personal assets. While payroll taxes are not dischargeable in bankruptcy, most vendor claims are dischargeable. There are a number of options available for a business owner facing delinquent payroll taxes such as payment plans with the IRS, liquidation of assets, or the filing of a Chapter 11 reorganization bankruptcy to allow a 5-year repayment plan for the taxes.


2 Replies to ““I’m not paying payroll taxes””

  1. Unless you would borrow money at an approximate interest rate of 25%, personally guarantee it, and be at risk for a 100% penalty for not paying sums withheld, you are better off paying the employment taxes, since those are the penalty terms for non-payment. Most businesses don’t have the kind of profit margins that can support that debt service, so you often start a downward spiral by not paying withholding taxes.

  2. This is a really good tip especially to those new to the blogosphere.
    Simple but very precise information… Thanks for sharing this
    one. A must read post!

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