Bluffton, SC asked in Employment Law and Tax Law for South Carolina

Q: Who is liable when it comes to employers not withholding enough federal income taxes?

I work as a tipped employee in a restaurant and rarely see a paycheck due to the money I make. I received my w2 and due to the lack of federal withholdings I owe a large amount of taxes. Is there any liability on the employer's end?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Matthew M Montoya
Matthew M Montoya
  • Tax Law Lawyer
  • Lone Tree, CO

A: The withholding is governed by the Form W-4 you (the taxpayer) fill out when you start working somewhere. Here's a W-4 for 2017 Based on your entries on the Form, the withholding will be adjusted. Often, people will put so many exemptions on the Form that they don't have much withheld from their pay at all and end up with a lot of tax at the end of the year. The short answer is that you are liable for setting your withholding amounts. If it becomes a problem for the IRS, they can enter you into the "withholding compliance program" and force withholding at a certain rate.

Again, it's the taxpayer's responsibility to have withholding amounts adjusted.

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