My dad's work changed checking companies at some point and somewhere along the lines they screwed up. Instead of 3 allowances, they marked 10 down so nothing has come out of his check for federal taxes for months, and he just realized it. Whose fault is it and what actions can be taken?
It looks like there is a good chance that your father is going to owe taxes for 2011. If you are suggesting that it is the payroll company's fault and your father should not be liable for the taxes, that is a losing argument. At this point it is important to focus on changing the allowances and figuring out how to pay for the taxes that should have been paid throughout the year. If he can't afford to pay what he owes, there may be other options available to him. He should consult with an experienced tax attorney to explore his options.
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It does not matter whose fault it is. Your father is liable for the income taxes on his tax returns. The only action that can be taken now is to increase his witholding this month. You should see a tax preparer who can project his liability and so that it can be determined how much he will be owing.
You should also contact his employer and request form W-4 which should have been filed in January of 2011, and should indicate how many exemptions were claimed. This form requires a signature and will indicate whether your father signed off on 10 exemptions, or the employer made this error.
A form w-4 must be filed every year and should indicate how many expemption are claimed.
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Regardless of who is at fault he will still have to pay the tax. He can increase his withholding amount for the balance of the year to pay this tax and avoid penalty.
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