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Payroll Matters to U.S. Tax System

BY: APA Staff | 04/20/18

On March 29, the IRS released the 2017 Internal Revenue Service Data Book, which provides statistics that underscore the importance of payroll professionals to the integrity of the American tax system.

The 2017 IRS Data Book reports that, of the $3.42 trillion that was paid into the Treasury in FY 2017, $2.39 trillion was transmitted by employers for employment taxes. This represents 70% of all federal revenue.

Payroll payments included: $1.33 trillion in withheld individual income taxes, $1.05 trillion in employer and employee FICA (social security and Medicare) taxes, $8.3 billion in unemployment insurance tax, and $6 billion in Railroad Retirement Tax Act taxes.

Compliance with employment tax requirements continues to be a problem area. The IRS Data Book reports that in FY 2017, the IRS assessed 5.36 million civil penalties that amounted to almost $7 billion.

Interestingly, the IRS reported the total cost of collecting $100 dropped to $0.34 in 2017.