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In the eyes of the IRS, you are responsible for your employees

Many Georgia business owners hire an accountant to handle the business' financial affairs. They trust this person to keep their finances straight, reporting all income and dealing with relevant tax forms. Unfortunately, not everyone is as trustworthy as we would like to believe. But when something goes wrong and the IRS comes calling, telling them you didn't know what was going on may not be enough.

Take, for example, the situation of a Louisiana business owner. Several years ago, she got a call from the IRS saying that she had failed to file tax returns for her salon. Confused, she told the agent she would talk to her accountant. The agent told her he had already spent months trying contact her accountant.

Eventually, they determined that her accountant had pocketed the $45,000 he set aside for payroll taxes. Although he pleaded guilty to fraud -- and was involved in similar schemes related to other businesses -- the IRS has not let up on the salon owner.

So far, they have liened her property and seized her bank accounts. Her former accountant is responsible for paying the IRS back on behalf of the salon, but the IRS still says she is responsible because she owns the company.

As anyone can imagine, a situation like this can be extremely challenge to face. The situation is not your fault, you don't have the money to pay the IRS, the person who is responsible was ordered to pay the IRS by a judge, but the IRS is still coming after you. Often the best way to handle a situation like this is to talk to an attorney about your options. The Tax Code is extremely complicated, so having someone on your side who understands it will be valuable as you decide how to move forward.

Source:, "Salon owner: IRS punishing me for thefts by my accountant," Ashley Rodrigue, Jan. 2, 2014

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