Salt Lake City, Utah – I was recently asked why I am spending so much time on payroll tax issues.  Here is why, a business owner wears a lot of hats. A business owner can be a manager, salesperson, accountant, office staff, HR, etc. Unfortunately, wearing all these hats means that the business owner is forced to make difficult daily decisions. When business owners have had to come to me, one of these difficult decisions is usually the business owner has dipped into the payroll tax account that was set aside to pay payroll taxes to keep the business’s doors open.

When the IRS or the Utah State Tax Commission comes after the business owner and his or her business for payroll taxes, the business and the business owner’s family are both on the hook for the payroll taxes.

The IRS views the emergency use by the business owner of payroll taxes as theft. Why? Because the business has used the payroll tax funds that have been withheld from its employees’ paychecks to pay these payroll taxes for other purposes. So, depending on how much was taken, the IRS could potentially come after the business owner with theft charges, landing the business owner behind bars. In addition, the business owner and the business could face long-term financial punishment for not paying back the payroll taxes.

I have found that most business owners are hardworking people.  As I think about the pandemic and how it changed our work environment, I feel that most business owners do not deserve this kind of treatment. I also feel that the federal government has felt the same way, if they didn’t, why did we see PPP loans, ERC monies, etc.  So, during this difficult time, I feel that often the payroll tax problems and the penalties don’t match the situation facing the business owner.

Remember, don’t expect the IRS to be sympathetic to the business owner’s concerns. The business and the business owner are a top priority on the IRS’s list, and the agent assigned to the payroll tax case will relentlessly pursue the business and the business owner. With help from tax attorney, Kent M. Brown, you can minimize how much the IRS and Utah State Tax Commission are able to siphon from your business, family, and life.

Remember, Tax problems are legal problems, and we solve both.  If you or someone you know has an issue with paying their federal or state taxes and needs help to end their IRS nightmare, please contact Kent Brown at Strong & Hanni by either phone at (801) 532-7080 or email at: or go to Kent’s Strong & Hanni webpage at: