Can I hold my employer liable if not enough money was withheld from my pay?

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Can I hold my employer liable if not enough money was withheld from my pay?

I work for a business that gives their documents to an accounting firm. I write out my own pay stubs and the business, along with my pay stubs, gets reported to the accounting company every month. I have just realized through my own research that I was not withold ing enough taxes throughout the year, and now I am in a hole. The have only informed me that I will come up short last week, being the second week in December. Is there any way I can pin them as responsible for this?

Asked on December 20, 2014 under Employment Labor Law, Washington

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

No, there is no way to hold them responsible:

1) The ultimate responsibility rests on you, the tax payer, to verify the withholding; this is a responsibility you must exercise and cannot delegate.

2) In any event, you're NOT really "in a whole"--you pay the same total taxes during the year whether you withheld properly, underwithheld, or overwithheld; the only issue is timing (do you get a refund? do you have to pay? or did you net out just even by paying as you went?). In that sense, underwithholding did not injure you in any way--it did not increase your total tax liability. If you did not save enough money to pay any tax amounts due, that is your responsibility, not your employer's.


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