Am I liable for taxes that my former employer did not pay? 3 Answers as of December 02, 2010

My former employer (as of 8-27-2010) did not take taxes and SS out of my PTO check which was paid 2 weeks late. Now they want me to pay them for the taxes which they say is my obligation to pay. It is my understanding that it is the employer who is responsible for the payroll tax deductions. Plus I have found other mistakes that they are trying to get me to pay (401k, dental ins, medical ins, etc) the only thing that is taken out of a PTO payout is taxes. I work for the government and they are trying threatening me with sending this info to my Commanding Officer if I do not pay what they claim I owe them. I have no way of knowing if they even paid these taxes and other deductions that they claim. I need help!

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Mankus & Marchan, LTD
Mankus & Marchan, LTD | Tony Mankus
You are liable for any income taxes, not your employer. Your employer generally is required to withhold income taxes from your pay, unless you are an independent contractor. The money that is withheld by the employer is sent to IRS which gives you a credit when you file the tax return. But it's your money - not the employer's. If the employer did not withhold the money, he may be liable for some penalties to the IRS, but you still have to file your 1040 tax return, report your income, and pay the taxes due with your own money.

The other issues you raise are not clearly understandable. You should see a tax attorney and present all those issues with relevant documentation and explanations.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 12/2/2010
Meyer & Yee, LLP
Meyer & Yee, LLP | Kent W. Meyer
Generally your employer is responsible. If they do not withhold they are liable.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 12/1/2010
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