At my job, I do payroll and today I received an IRS Notice of Levy on Wages for one of the employees. The total amount due is absolutely shocking and I know this employee is going to need help either fighting it or getting the amount reduced.
I can't personally help him with this, I simply cannot get that involved with an employee (learned this from past good intentions gone bad). I know he is barely scrapping by as it is, this levy will be financially devestating. I know as soon as I give him the paper work, he is going to be begging for help. I would like to be able to hand over a list of agency/groups that might be able to help him.
Does anyone have a recommendation on where I can send him for, preferably free, advice? Is there some sort of not-for-profit agency that helps people with this type of thing?
Caneel, my sense is to be suspicious of advertisers. It's possible that FlatFeeTaxSvcs is on the right track, but you know for sure that she's selling her company's services, and that may or may not be the best deal for your employee.
Lifehacker ran an article on finding a tax pro in February - it's online here: http://lifehacker.com/5881487/how-do-i-find-a-good-tax-professional
I think it includes a good set of resources and questions to ask, which is why I'm linking it.
I'm also going to encourage you not to be too wracked by this. I assure you, the wage levy was NOT the IRS's first attempt to connect with this person. Unless they've been completely ignoring their mail, they have to have seen this coming. (And if they've been completely ignoring their mail, that's pretty dumb.) I am a CPA, and DH and I have had issues with the IRS in the past (DH forgot to file one year before we were married). Before attaching anyone's income, the IRS will make multiple attempts to contact them. If things have progressed this far, I think your employee definitely needs professional help.
What meepcat says. Also I've learned long ago to keep my professional life and my private life separate. So basically what you see in the payroll office - stays in the payroll office. This employee may or may not be asking for help. Its not your place as an employer to become a social worker, financial planner and CPA. The IRS does not go right to a levy. A levy takes literally years to get to.
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Caneel, one other thing you might look into is whether your employer could be well-served by a third-party Employee Assistance Program. Basically, it's a service that runs a hotline that employees can call to ask for referrals to various kinds of professional services. If you had one running, whenever someone came to you in need of help, you could give them the number for the EAP, and the pros over there could help them find what they needed, often at discounted rates. The EAP is also confidential, so employees in need of help have fewer concerns over discrimination in employment.
Financial auditors often recommend employee assistance programs as part of fraud prevention efforts, but I think they pay for themselves in a lot of ways. They help employees keep personal business out of the office, for example. Even if they make the calls from the office, they'll have less impact on work because it's a few, productive phone calls, and not endless, stressed-out, spinning of wheels. If your bosses are willing to look into it, the best people to ask would probably be the CPAs who audit the business, and whoever runs your payroll services (assuming that's not just you).
Thanks for that link. I printed off the article for when he askes for help. While I hope I don't hear a word about it from him, I know he will because he has asked for help many times in the past - needed $100 to keep the car running, advance on his check to avoid eviction, etc.
The boss helping employees in time of financial need (due to their poor life choices) is a problem here, many have come to depend on the company as a safety net.
I realize this will not be a shock to him, it says right in the lRS letter that repeated attempts to contact him directly were unsuccessful.
An EAP would be a good idea, I will look into that.
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