Employment Tax Problems Can Lead to Criminal Charges

employment taxIt is less than an hour's drive from Cleveland out to Portage County. The area is home to the Village of Garrettsville, known for its maple syrup and pastoral setting. It is also the hometown of Jonathan M. Lawrence, the CEO, founder and president of Laurenco Systems of Ohio, LLC.

Lawrence built the waterproofing company based in Leavittsburg. He was recently sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio to spend 6 months in prison for failing to submit to the Internal Revenue Service nearly $350,000 in taxes withheld from employee paychecks.

Following his release from federal prison, Lawrence will spend 6 months under house arrest, Judge Sara Lioi ordered. She also ordered him to pay $160,000 in restitution, in addition to the $140,000 he has already paid the IRS.

A federal prosecutor said the government "will continue to prosecute people who violate their tax obligations and their fiduciary responsibilities to their employees."

The IRS says on its website that it has an arsenal of weapons to deploy against employers who fail to remit withheld payroll taxes (federal income tax withholding, plus Social Security and Medicare taxes and unemployment taxes), including audits and tax liens. In some situations — cases in which the IRS believes the employment tax non-compliance is willful — criminal prosecution is a real possibility.

In those situations, business owners will often decide to discuss the details of their circumstances with a tax law firm experienced in resolution of delinquent payroll taxes. The tax attorneys of Robert J. Fedor, Esq., L.L.C., in Cleveland, Ohio, or Chicago, Illinois, can answer your questions and take actions to protect you and your business from criminal charges.

Download IRS Criminal Tax Fraud eBook