Not withholding payroll taxes or failing to pay the proper payroll taxes is a crime. Unfortunately, many small business owners and tax professionals are unaware of the severe civil and criminal penalties. This presentation is for tax professionals who will be exposed to payroll tax problems. Every year the IRS puts in prison small business owners and responsible parties for employment tax crimes.

This course explains the perils of unpaid payroll taxes, how to identify potential criminal acts, and what tax professionals can do to protect themselves and their clients.

Program Content:
The major topics covered in this class include:

  • The role of IRS in prosecuting criminal employment tax violations
  • The federal statutes that require employers to withhold employee taxes
  • The definition of “responsible party”
  • The civil and criminal penalties for failing to comply with tax withholdings
  • The considerations by federal judges in sentencing
  • Who should attend: CPAs, small business owners, and tax professionals

Learning Objectives
  • Identify the federal statutes requiring employers to withhold payroll taxes.
  • Discover and define “responsible party” in federal tax statutes.
  • Recognize and recall the civil and criminal penalties in employment taxes.
  • Identify facts that create potential employment tax crimes.
Last updated/reviewed: May 10, 2024
Course Complexity: Foundational
No advanced preparation or prerequisites are required for this course.
Education Provider Information
Company: Illumeo, Inc., 75 East Santa Clara St., Suite 1215, San Jose, CA 95113
Contact: For more information regarding this course, including complaint and cancellation policies, please contact our offices at (408) 400- 3993 or send an e-mail to .
Instructor for this course
Course Syllabus
  Learning Objectives11:36
  IRS Mission Statement and Federal Common Civil Statutes14:10
  Common Criminal Statutes and Responsible Party Definition16:02
  Civil Calculations and Penalties18:14
  Ways to Protect Yourself and Your Client11:00
  Criminal Investigation Factors21:10
  Sentencing Factors and Defense Practices8:20
  Resources and Summary1:20
  Unpaid Payroll Taxes: The Quickest Way to Prison1:41:52
  Slides: Unpaid Payroll Taxes: The Quickest Way to PrisonPDF
  Unpaid Payroll Taxes: The Quickest Way to Prison Glossary/IndexPDF