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JTom86
Level 2

Can an employer deduct from your federal and state tax withholdings?

I recently did my taxes and found my federal and state withholdings completely different than what I had paid into during the 2019 tax year.  I left that company in November for greener pastures. I did not have pay stubs from November but I did from October. The federal withholding and state withholding was vastly different on my pay stubs than my W-2. I asked for my November pay stubs and low and behold I saw a subtraction from my tax withholdings. How is this possible without my written consent?! 

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Accepted Solutions
GiseleD
Expert Alumni

Can an employer deduct from your federal and state tax withholdings?

Unfortunately, we cannot communicate through private message on this forum. In your case, I recommend gathering all your documentation and proof and having it ready for when the IRS/TAC is back open. You will want to get this reported as soon as the IRS is available, as it will take them time to investigate this. In the meantime, you may want request an extension to October 15th to give you some breathing room. To file Form 4868 to request an extension of time to file your tax return, select your situation:

Keep in mind: An extension doesn't give you extra time to pay your taxes, but it'll keep you from getting a late filing penalty. (You'll still owe interest if you pay after the deadline.)

 

@JTom86

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7 Replies
CassLO
Expert Alumni

Can an employer deduct from your federal and state tax withholdings?

Please see the link below that explains who can garnish your tax refund:

Who Can Garnish an Income Tax Refund?

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JTom86
Level 2

Can an employer deduct from your federal and state tax withholdings?

I think you are misunderstanding my question. I looked at my pay stub at the end of November, my last pay stub from my previous employer. There was a -$2200 for federal withholding that paycheck and 0 withholding to state. I have no garnishments. No court actions. 

GiseleD
Expert Alumni

Can an employer deduct from your federal and state tax withholdings?

You can contact the employer to see if there was an issue with their payroll provider. If that is not an option, call the IRS toll free at 800-829-1040 or make an appointment to visit an IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center (TAC)  and request that an IRS representative initiate a Form W-2 complaint. However, you will need to wait until the IRS and the TAC start reopening their offices.

 

@JTom86

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JTom86
Level 2

Can an employer deduct from your federal and state tax withholdings?

@GiseleD  

The employer was a small business military contractor. The payroll office was just a few people. What it looks like to me is that this was intentional. I could provide you a snap shot of the pay stub through private message for you to see exactly what I am talking about.  I have looked this up and I have found no information on an employer taking money out of your federal or state tax withholdings. It was my understanding that they had to put it into a separate account as to not be able to make interest off of it. What it looks like is they were somehow able to just say that subtract money that was already supposed to be withheld and in my final paycheck not even withhold tax for federal or state. 

GiseleD
Expert Alumni

Can an employer deduct from your federal and state tax withholdings?

Unfortunately, we cannot communicate through private message on this forum. In your case, I recommend gathering all your documentation and proof and having it ready for when the IRS/TAC is back open. You will want to get this reported as soon as the IRS is available, as it will take them time to investigate this. In the meantime, you may want request an extension to October 15th to give you some breathing room. To file Form 4868 to request an extension of time to file your tax return, select your situation:

Keep in mind: An extension doesn't give you extra time to pay your taxes, but it'll keep you from getting a late filing penalty. (You'll still owe interest if you pay after the deadline.)

 

@JTom86

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**Mark the post that answers your question by clicking on "Mark as Best Answer"
JTom86
Level 2

Can an employer deduct from your federal and state tax withholdings?

@GiseleD 

I have already filed. I was so flabbergasted by how little they said I paid in federal taxes that it kept me up at night. I finally thought. Let me check my paystubs, this cannot be correct.  Would you mind if I shared a picture on this forum of my last pay stub? Obviously important information redacted of course. Just so you can see what I am talking about? 

GiseleD
Expert Alumni

Can an employer deduct from your federal and state tax withholdings?

Even if you redact PII, you will be posting this on a public forum. Anyone can access your post. With that, based on the information you have shared, I do believe that an issue has taken place with your withholding. I definitely recommend that you contact the IRS to report this issue with your withholding. 

 

@JTom86

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