The IRS has provided guidance to employers regarding the recent presidential action to allow employers the deferral of the withholding, deposit and payment of certain payroll tax obligations.

The three-page guidance in Notice 2020-65 was issued to implement President Trump’s executive memorandum signed on August 8.

dollar bills sitting underneath a medical mask; image used for blog post about deferral of employees' social security tax

Private employers still have questions and concerns about whether, and how, to implement the optional deferral. The President’s action only defers the employee’s share of Social Security taxes; it doesn’t forgive them, meaning employees will still have to pay the taxes later unless Congress acts to eliminate the liability. (The payroll services provider for federal employers announced that federal employees will have their taxes deferred.)


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