Can an employer withhold money from personal checks to claim as taxes?

UPDATED: Jun 10, 2012

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Can an employer withhold money from personal checks to claim as taxes?

My employer sometimes cuts personal checks when he forgets to do payroll. When he does this, he “calculates” the amount of taxes that would have automatically been taken out on my behalf and cuts us personal checks less that amount. Is that legal? How do I know that the amount taken out will be reported to the IRS? Will I be subject to paying additional taxes when I report this income on my return?

Asked on June 10, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, New York


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

In the end, your employer is ultimately responsible to withhold the amount per deductions that the employee fills out on his or her W-2 form regardless if you are paid on a personal check or not.

At the beginning of the following year, your employer around January is required to provide you with a W-2 statement for tax purposes. Such statement should take into account all deductions withheld and payments made to you from company and personal checks of the employer. What the employer is presently doing is legal.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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