In medieval times, governments hired “tax farmers” to collect taxes from the populace and forward them on to the king or queen. This served two purposes: first, it excused the powers-that-be from having to collect taxes themselves, and second, it diverted the wrath of the peasants from the nobility to the tax farmer, who was only doing his job (albeit usually at a vast profit).

In a way, businesses in the U.S. are like tax farmers. That's because the government requires them to withhold Social Security, Medicare, and other taxes from their workers’ pay, and forward these funds to the IRS. The reason for this should be self-evident: if left to their own devices, many employees would try to figure out a way to avoid paying any taxes on their salaries at all, and it’s easier for the government to target a single business owner than 200 individual workers.

One corollary to this system is that a business that doesn't forward its payroll taxes to the government—say, because it’s fighting desperately to stave off bankruptcy—can be accused of both tax evasion and theft, further complicating an already complex situation. That’s why, if you're a business owner facing government sanctions for nonpayment of payroll taxes, you should contact the law offices of Travis W. Watkins for a free consultation. Our Oklahoma tax attorneys have decades of experience staring down IRS bill collectors, and we’ll aggressively defend you against any overreaching by the authorities.

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