Can the payroll clerk be charged for the Trust Fund Penalty?
- August 2, 2023
- David Greene
- Comments Off on Can the payroll clerk be charged for the Trust Fund Penalty?
Yes, the IRS can pursue a payroll clerk as a “Responsible Party” for the Trust Fund penalty. I am quite sure that the owners and/or managers of the company would also be contacted and found to be responsible. They probably gave the clerk’s name as also being responsible. The trust fund portion of the payroll taxes is all of the federal taxes that are withheld from each employee’s paycheck. It is not the company’s matching social security and Medicare taxes. There are two tests to determine whether one can be held liable for the trust fund portion of the payroll taxes. Both tests have to be answered “yes” for him to be held liable. The first test is whether or not he was responsible for paying the taxes. As payroll clerk, he probably would be. The second test is whether or not he acted willfully in not paying the payroll taxes. In other words, did the clerk have the power or ability to determine which bills would be paid with the available money. If so, then he is probably liable, however, the supervisor may have made those decisions, in which case he should not be held liable by the IRS.