Small bookkeeping office in Daly City, CA; Concern about client’s balance due to IRS (years 2013-2015 form 941 $30K tax bal.)
07/16/15 IRS Revenue Officer has contacted me about interview to complete form 4180 over the phone. I requested until Tuesday 10am to respond.
Services we provide to client (Fast food taqueria) operating as a Single member LLC:
Our fixed charge per month is $390. = 6 hours @ $65. Per hour
1. Bookkeeping ..after the fact..we received bank stmt and copies of checks paid; enter info into Qbooks.
We do not write any checks,
We do not have signature authorization
We do not have any control on any payments, nor deposits
We do not have any control on business manners, nor policies
2. Payroll services…client send us employees’ time sheets (biweekly)..
We prepare and forward payroll check stubs to client..
client writes checks..
We advice client on monthly basis of payroll tax liability; client instruct us to scheduled Federal tax payments via EFTPS.
We also, based on client’s instructions schedule payment for State payroll tax withholdings.
We keep track of payroll figures, including tax payments with the EFTPS and prepare quarterly, and yearly payroll tax reports. Reports are send to client for review, signing, and filing. Checks for any balance due are written, signed, send by client.
We signed the payroll tax reports as Paid Tax prepares…client signs payroll tax report as owner.
Client receives all government notices, and usually does forward us copies of tax notices.
We do not have control of bank activity, we do not write checks, nor are authorized to sign any checks.
Do you see any sections of our duties that could be determine as possible points for IRS to try to file a Fund Recovery Penalty, or personal liability for unpaid payroll taxes against us as bookkeepers or Payroll Service Provider?
It does not appear that you have liability from the facts stated. nevertheless, the reason for the interview is that your customer probably named you as the person making payroll decisions. I know it is a significant expense, but you should immediately retain a tax attorney familiar with IRC Sec 6672 and the Trust Fund Penalty. Form 4180 is not available from the IRS website but a good tax lawyer will have it in PDF. Do not speak to the RO without your attorney.
I hope this helps!
If you do not like this answer or disagree, please look at one of the other answers provided. It is not necessary for you to try prove this answer is "wrong" or something with which you do not agree. This is a free service for you based on limited facts. Nevertheless, many times you need to consult an attorney with the details to get actual advice specific to your concerns. Do not put too many details in your questions or comments because this makes the information public and could hurt you. Government Regulations contained in IRS Circular 230 regulate written communications about Federal tax matters, including e-mail, between us and our clients. This is another attempt by the government to limit your rights and to extend the control of government over individuals and businesses. Nevertheless, such communications are either opinions or other written communications. This is not an opinion. It is other written communication and was not written to be relied upon, by itself, to avoid any tax penalties. In order to receive assurances of protection from tax penalties from a written communication, you should get an opinion letter. If you would like to discuss an opinion letter relating to any matter, please contact me and I will explain what is involved and what it will cost.
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