Most payroll services are reputable. They help companies comply with the myriad of laws and regulations in payroll by preparing payroll checks, paperwork, and even sending the withheld payroll taxes to the IRS and state tax agencies.
Of course, where most won’t go the Bozo wing of payroll services happily head to. From Maryland comes the story of AccuPay. The payroll company is accused of failing to remit payroll taxes to the IRS and Maryland. After local police investigated, the company filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case. The owner of the firm refused to testify (citing the Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination).
The stories read horribly, with some owners having to take out loans, and other firms perhaps going out of business. Yet there’s a way today to make sure your payroll tax company is remitting your taxes: EFTPS. It takes about two weeks to enroll (passwords will be mailed to you). Once you are enrolled, you can see your payroll tax remittances. There’s no reason to be a recurring victim of this kind of theft.
Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) will be proposing a bill that would require payroll firms to register with the IRS and be bonded or certified by the IRS. I oppose this, because it’s not needed. Use EFTPS and you can see for yourself if your payroll taxes are making it to the IRS.