Employment Tax Evasion Schemes
Employment tax evasion schemes can take a variety of forms. Some of the more prevalent methods of evasion include pyramiding, employee leasing, paying employees in cash, filing false payroll tax returns or failing to file payroll tax returns.
"Pyramiding" of employment taxes is a fraudulent practice where a business withholds taxes from its employees but intentionally fails to remit them to the IRS. Businesses involved in pyramiding frequently file for bankruptcy to discharge the liabilities accrued and then start a new business under a different name and begin a new scheme.
Employee leasing is another legal business practice, which is sometimes subject to abuse. Employee leasing is the practice of contracting with outside businesses to handle all administrative, personnel, and payroll concerns for employees. In some instances, employee-leasing companies fail to pay over to the IRS any portion of the collected employment taxes. These taxes are often spent by the owners on business or personal expenses. Often the company dissolves, leaving millions in employment taxes unpaid.
Paying Employees in Cash
Paying employees, whole or partially, in cash is a common method of evading income and employment taxes resulting in lost tax revenue to the government and the loss or reduction of future social security or Medicare benefits for the employee.
Filing False Payroll Tax Returns or Failing to File Payroll Tax Returns
Preparing false payroll tax returns understating the amount of wages on which taxes are owed, or failing to file employment tax returns are methods commonly used to evade employment taxes.