Employment Tax Enforcement Activity: Are Injunctions the New Mechanism to Compel Employment Tax Compliance?

The Government has been aggressively seeking injunctive relief against employers ordering them to timely file the corporation’s tax returns and to withhold and pay over federal income taxes and employment taxes.  Most recently, the Government has increased its enforcement efforts in the temporary staffing arena.  On March 17, 2001 in US v. LCL Administration, Inc. the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California granted  the Government’s request for a preliminary injunction against LCL, a temporary staffing company, and its officers, ordering them to timely file the corporation’s tax returns and to withhold and pay over federal income taxes and employment taxes.

Given this recent increase in use of injunctive relief in employment tax cases and the IRS’ first employment tax research project in 25 years, employers should be on notice that the Government is taking an aggressive position with employment tax noncompliance.  Employers should review their payroll function and business owners must be aware of  potential personal liability for employment tax failures.

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