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No federal taxes were taking out of my paychecks and I owe $3-7000, because my employer marked me exempt. Should I sue?

Sacramento, CA |

I have worked for the same company for 6 years. I have claimed zero since BIRTH. Last year they asked me to fill out a fresh one. As always I claimed zero. I went to do my taxes and was told I owe because no federal has been taken out all year. I work for a corporate chain so I called my work and they said I claimed zero, but the home office and pay roll say I claimed exempt. I dont have the money to pay my taxes and it is there fault. They are not helping me deal with their mistake. Do I need a lawyer and what kind of lawyer is appropriate?

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Attorney answers 3


The tax is your responsibility whether they withheld the tax or not. Your paycheck was bigger as a result of not taking the taxes out. You should have noticed this on you check stub as well. You have no damages other than a possible penalty that may be charged for under withholding. I just do not see a lawsuit here. You should make sure that your paycheck has the correct withholding in the future. You can enter into a payment arrangement for what you owe now and ask your employer to pay the penalty if it was there fault. Check the W-4 you submitted first to make sure it was there error.

Any individual seeking legal advice for their own situation should retain their own legal counsel as this response provides information that is general in nature and not specific to any person's unique situation. Circular 230 Disclaimer - Advice given in this response cannot be used to eliminate penalties with the IRS or any other governmental agency.


No, you cannot sue.

The payment of income taxes is your personal responsibility, regardless of whether your employer withheld the proper amount of tax.

You need to make sure you have a correct W-4 on file with your employer.

The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice. This posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author (who is only admitted to practice law in the State of California). For specific advice about your particular situation, consult your own attorney.


Unfortunately, there is not a lot that you can do if you recieved all the income. An employee that claims exempt (wrongfully or rightfully) is still liable for the taxes because they are benefiaries of the income, not the employer.

THESE COMMENTS ARE NOT LEGAL ADVICE. They are provided for informational purposes only. Actual legal advice can only be provided after consultation by an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction. The answer to question does not create an attorney-client relationship or otherwise require further consultation. Mr. Smith is licensed to practice law throughout the state of California with offices in Los Angeles County. He is authorized to handle IRS matters throughout the United States, and is also licensed to practice before the United States Tax Court. His phone number is 323-292-4116 or his email address is