What Happens If A W-2 Employee Finds Out The Employer Wasn’t Withholding Employment Taxes?

What is an Employer’s Responsibility to a W-2 Employee?

Employees and Employers are both responsible for making sure federal employment taxes are paid to the IRS. The federal employment tax is comprised of the federal income tax, the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA), and the Federal Unemployment Tax Act. Usually an employer withholds the taxes for an employee, taking the withholdings from an employee’s paychecks. In these cases, the employee is considered a W-2 employee. Employers are responsible for sending the W-2 form to the IRS and to the employee each year, which reports the employee’s annual wages and the amount of taxes withheld from his or her paychecks.

What Happens if no Federal Taxes are Taken out of a W-2 Employee’s Paycheck?

Employers generally must withhold federal income tax from employees’ wages. In order to figure out how much tax to withhold an employer must use an employee’s W-4 form, given to the employee at the beginning of employment. If the employer deducts employment tax from your paycheck and then fails to pay it to the IRS, the employer is personally liable. Employers may face civil or criminal sanctions for failing to pay the employment tax.

If an employee notices that his employer did not deduct his employment tax at all, the employee must take action. An employee may also be held liable if he does not take the proper precautions and abate them personally after seeing the employer did not withhold the employment tax. Employees may not qualify for social security, Medicare, or unemployment benefits if the employment tax is not paid.

What Should a W-2 Employee do if their Employer has not paid Employment Taxes?

Employees who are concerned that their taxes have not been paid should request their W-2 form from their employer. If an employer refuses to give the employee a W-2 form, an employee should file a 4852 form. If the Employer refuses to withhold the employment taxes and the IRS is unable to collect the employment taxes from the employer, the employee still has the responsibility to pay the federal income tax and the Federal Insurance Contributions tax.

EPGD Business Law is located in beautiful Coral Gables. Call us at (786) 837-6787, or contact us through the website to schedule a consultation.

*Disclaimer: this blog post is not intended to be legal advice. We highly recommend speaking to an attorney if you have any legal concerns. Contacting us through our website does not establish an attorney-client relationship.*

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Eric Gros-Dubois

Founding partner Eric Gros-Dubois established EPGD Business Law in 2013. With over a decade of experience expanding the firm and leading it to its current success, Eric now primarily manages the corporate division of EPGD. Given Eric’s educational background, holding both a JD and MBA, combined with his own unique experience of starting a business from scratch and growing it to a multi-million dollar firm, he brings a specialized and invaluable perspective to those seeking legal assistance for themselves and their businesses. Having now instilled his same values in our team of skilled corporate associates, Eric leads a firm that is always ready, willing, and equipped to handle any and every legal matter that a business owner may have.


*The following comments are not intended to be treated as legal advice. The answer to your question is limited to the basic facts presented. Additional details may heavily alter our assessment and change the answer provided. For a more thorough review of your question please contact our office for a consultation.



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