One of the biggest mistakes that a small business makes is not to use an outside payroll service. The process of doing payroll and all the tax details surrounding it, is not something that an entrepreneur should have to deal with. I made this mistake in my last business. Today’s guest post is from small business expert, Michael Alter.

“As a small business owner, you’re pulled in a thousand different directions on a daily basis. The last thing you want to worry about is payroll tax complications. Federal, state and local tax laws seem to change on a dime. You have to keep up because mistakes in this area can be costly. Here are 10 things to keep in mind:

  • Small businesses are the most likely target of increased tax compliance.
  • Payroll tax penalties can turn into huge tax debts.
  • Not filing or paying payroll taxes can be considered a federal crime.
  • Borrowing from payroll taxes is against the law.
  • The IRS can come after business owners individually for payroll taxes owed.
  • Professional representation is necessary if you are audited.
  • You can save on employment taxes by hiring certain family members.
  • Before hiring an employee, obtain a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN).
  • Federal I-9 forms verify legal status of employees.
  • Every new employee needs a Federal W-4 Form.

Be sure to consider these factors when choosing a payroll services provider.”

Michael Alter is President and CEO of SurePayroll. A nationally recognized spokesman on small business issues,  Michael is a contributor for and regularly appears on Bloomberg TV and other national business programs.