Winston-Salem & Greensboro Employment Taxes Attorneys
Knowledgeable guidance on payroll taxes for business owners in the Triad
North Carolina tax law can be difficult to understand, especially for a business owner. With myriad forms to file, withholdings, and local taxes, it is important to ensure payroll is processed correctly and the right employment taxes are taken out and paid to the North Carolina Department of Revenue (NCDOR). Any employer that does business in, or has an employee in, our state is required to withhold state tax.
If you own a business, you likely have questions about employment and payroll taxes – when to pay, how much to pay, and how to pay them. You may have concerns about delinquent taxes, or are facing a hearing or audit. Here at Hartsoe & Associates, P.C., our tax attorneys have over two decades of experience assisting clients with tax matters. Call us today to set up a consultation.
About North Carolina payroll taxes
Businesses with paid employees here in NC are required to register with:
- The NCDOR, for withholding North Carolina state income taxes from employee wages
- The NC Department of Employment Security for employer unemployment taxes
Payroll taxes include:
- Federal, state, and local income tax
- Medicare tax
- Social Security tax
- State and federal unemployment tax
If a business fails to withhold and pay the required taxes, it can face significant penalties, as well as accrue interest on the unpaid taxes. Your tax attorney can help negotiate a payment plan or alternative solution if you find your business is in violation. Additionally, if your business is new to North Carolina, or you have employees working here, it is important to consult with an experienced Greensboro payroll tax attorney to ensure your business is in compliance both now and in the future.
Common employment tax concerns
Our tax attorneys work with clients from startup through the lifecycle of their business to ensure they are always in compliance with tax laws. In the event of any issues, we also provide legal guidance and representation. Following are some common employment and payroll tax challenges with which we are familiar.
Misclassification of employees as independent contractors
With the popularity of the gig economy, like Uber and Lyft drivers, it is important to classify your workers properly in regard to taxes. State authorities look very closely at tax returns to ensure independent contractors are classified correctly – and if they are not, your business could face serious penalties and consequences. Hartsoe & Associates works to protect your business from any repercussions from accidental misclassification in today’s confusing gig worker economy.
Delinquent payroll taxes and trust fund recovery penalties
Payroll taxes are taxes withheld from employee wages and then paid to the government. The withheld amount is formally called “trust fund taxes,” as you collect those taxes from your employees to hold in trust for the government. The IRS tends to pursue these taxes more aggressively than other taxes. In fact, mistakes made in payroll taxes may result in a financial penalty. However, if the IRS believes a business knowingly withheld or failed to pay payroll taxes, they may pursue criminal charges. Our attorneys can help defend your business against these allegations.
Protection from personal liability
As a business owner, shareholder, or investor, you may face personal liability if your company is facing IRS investigation. Failure to pay employment taxes, fraud, or failure to report withholdings are serious charges – and the IRS or NCDOR will not only go after your business, but they may also go after you personally. Our Winston-Salem tax attorneys provide experienced legal counsel and protection.
Is my business entitled to any payroll tax exemptions?
It depends on the nature of your business. Tax-exempt organizations and businesses include religious, charitable, and political organizations, as well as non-profits and private foundations. However, these types of organizations must meet specific requirements to qualify for tax exemptions as well as meet certain tax reporting obligations to maintain that status. Hartsoe & Associates can help you determine if your business meets tax-exempt status and, if so, how to properly set up your tax reporting and withholding.
Can I be criminally prosecuted for not paying employment taxes?
A willful or intentional failure to pay or withhold payroll taxes is considered a felony by the IRS, and may be punishable by a $10,000 fine and/or prison time. However, it is worth noting that the IRS typically saves these criminal charges for the most willful and egregious cases. Regardless, even the threat of these serious penalties underscores the need for working with experienced counsel to ensure your business is always in compliance with current tax laws and codes.
How our employment taxes law firm can help
In addition to our other services, we assist entrepreneurs and businesses in the Piedmont Triad with other tax-related issues, including:
- Analyzing the tax implications of employee benefits like bonuses, gifts, travel, lodging, transportation, and meals
- Defense against employment tax-related audits, both federal and state, for issues including payroll tax withholding, Medicare, disability, and unemployment insurance
- Due diligence and advice on employment tax issues when a business goes through a reorganization, merger, or acquisition
- Legal guidance on proper classification of workers as independent contractors or employees, and creating thorough contractor and employee agreements
- Skilled litigation of employment tax disputes, whether in front of the IRS, NCDOR, or in state and federal court
Working with employment tax attorneys before your business faces a problem is the best way to avoid a problem. Our attorneys can help you set up the structure of your business and payroll to ensure you are always in tax compliance. In the event your business faces a question or challenge regarding your taxes, we will protect and defend you.
Qualified Piedmont Triad employment tax lawyers
With over 25 years of local experience, the attorneys at Hartsoe & Associates, P.C. are proud to help area businesses and companies with their employment tax needs. From payroll taxes to employee classification, we can ensure your company is in compliance, as well as defend you against any collection efforts. We serve clients in Winston-Salem and Greensboro, as well as the Piedmont Triad. To schedule a consultation with an experienced attorney, please call 336-725-1985 or fill out our contact form.