Payroll Tax

Greenville Payroll Tax Attorneys

Overcome Payroll Tax Problems with Our Help

Federal payroll taxes are withheld from employee paychecks and are used to fund federal benefits programs, including Medicare and Social Security. South Carolina employers are required to deduct payroll taxes as well as federal and state income taxes from their employees’ compensation and promptly deposit the appropriate funds with the appropriate tax authority.

Understanding your payroll tax obligations as a business owner can be confusing and learning you have made a mistake resulting in a balance due to the government can be stressful. Our Greenville payroll tax lawyers at Southeastern Tax Advocates include certified tax law specialist Verne McGough.

Our parent firm, Merline & Meacham, P.A. [1], has been helping South Carolina business owners since 1970. We can work to protect your interests and help you efficiently negotiate a tax settlement when you encounter any type of payroll tax-related issue. One of our experienced attorneys will work closely with you to develop a tailored strategy designed to deliver the relief you need.

If your business owes money to the IRS due to unpaid or late payroll taxes, do not hesitate to call (864) 613-6608 or contact us online. Same-day appointments are available!

How Payroll Tax Problems Happen in South Carolina

As an employer, you are required to deduct the correct amount of federal payroll taxes from each of your employee’s paychecks.

This includes all taxable:

  • Wages
  • Salaries
  • And tips

These funds then must be promptly sent to the IRS. Employers are also responsible for deducting and transferring federal and state income taxes to the IRS and South Carolina Department of Revenue, respectively. Each of these deductions must be itemized on each employee’s paycheck.

Payroll tax issues can develop when an employer:

  • Fails to deduct the appropriate amount of taxes. The employer is responsible for deducting the accurate amount of taxes from each employee’s paycheck. Business owners can run into problems if they incorrectly calculate how much to deduct, resulting in underpayment to the IRS or SC Department of Revenue.
  • Fails to deposit the appropriate amount of taxes. In some cases, employers will deduct the correct amount of payroll taxes but fail to deposit the full amount with the IRS or SC Department of Revenue. This can sometimes occur if a business is cash-poor and needs the funds to deal with other immediate financial issues.
  • Fails to transfer the appropriate amount of taxes on time. Payroll tax payments not made on time can be subject to interest, late fees, and other damaging penalties. The IRS typically assigns a penalty of 0.5% of what is owed for each month it is late. However, the IRS may decide to charge especially delinquent deposits with late fee penalties of up to 25% of what is owed.
  • Fails to appropriately handle independent contractors. Independent contractors are not considered employees and are not subject to the same payroll tax rules. However, businesses must still meet certain tax obligations. If an employer must issue Form 1099s to any independent contractor or firm that is paid $600 or more in any calendar year, the employer must also submit the 1099 to the IRS. The government will assess penalties when employers fail to properly handle contractors.

In some situations, business owners will not realize they have payroll tax problems until they hear from the IRS or SC Department of Revenue. Employees within the business will sometimes make mistakes in deducting and/or depositing payroll taxes without the knowledge of the business owner. Our Greenville payroll tax attorneys can help you quickly resolve debt issues that result from a variety of scenarios.

How to Address Payroll Tax Debt

The IRS or SC Department of Revenue will eventually discover if your business owes payroll taxes. As the business owner, you will receive a Notice and Demand for Payment that will explain what is owed and the due date for full payment. If this deadline passes and no action is taken, the government may pursue damaging collections actions that can impact your business’s ability to operate.

If left unchecked, payroll tax debt can quickly balloon and become unmanageable. When faced with these issues, you should immediately seek legal representation and take steps to address tax debt to avoid disruptions to business operations. The IRS or SC Department of Revenue may attempt to seize assets or even shut down your business if you fail to take steps to resolve these debts.

Willful withholding of payroll tax funds is also considered a felony crime. Convicted offenders can face years of imprisonment and hefty fines.

By negotiating a tax settlement with the IRS or SC Department of Revenue, you can avoid many of the worst consequences of owing money to the government. Any imminent or ongoing tax levies or liens will generally be stopped when a tax settlement is pending.

Payroll Tax Cases We Handle

Our Greenville payroll tax lawyers can help you negotiate and implement numerous types of debt settlements, including:

Offers in Compromise

If your business is experiencing financial difficulties and has no reasonable means of repaying owed payroll taxes, the government may accept an offer in compromise, which allows a company to “settle” their debt for less than what they owe. In most cases, an offer in compromise will consist of a single lump-sum payment.

Installment Payment Agreements

The government may agree to let you pay off your payroll tax debt in installments over a period of several years. In some cases, you may be able to negotiate only paying what your business can currently afford on a monthly basis.

Penalty Abatements

You may be able to reduce or eliminate qualifying penalties if your business had “reasonable cause” for failing to meet payroll tax obligations.

Recognized reasonable causes include:

  • Natural disasters
  • Death
  • Incapacitation
  • And an inability to obtain the appropriate records

Interest stemming from reduced or eliminated penalties will also be commensurately reduced or eliminated.

No matter the circumstances, our experienced team at Southeastern Tax Advocates is prepared to help your business manage and resolve issues of payroll tax debt. We are familiar with how to efficiently negotiate business tax settlements, and our attorneys will work directly with you to explore all available relief options.


Do not wait to address payroll tax problems. Schedule a no-obligation consultation by calling (864) 613-6608 or contacting us online.


[1] Southeastern Tax Advocates is a subsidiary of Merline & Meacham, P.A. All client cases will be handled by an attorney of Merline & Meacham, P.A. who primarily practices in one of our offices at 812 East North Street, Greenville, SC 29601 or 723 Laurel Street, Columbia, SC 29201.

Any result the law firm may have achieved on behalf of clients in one matter does not necessarily indicate similar results can be obtained for other clients.

“I have known and worked with Verne McGough, for years. As a fellow attorney but in a different field of practice, he is the ONLY tax attorney to whom I will refer anyone. He is organized, prompt, and extremely knowledgeable in his field.”

- Eydie T. (Attorney, Not a Client)

Why Choose Us?

  • In-Person & Virtual Accessibility
  • Attorneys Who Personally Handle Your Case
  • Board-Certified in Tax Law (Verne McGough)
About the Firm

Get to know the firm and how our dedicated and experienced tax attorneys can assist you today.