By Meg Eynon, Vice President, The Payroll Factory®
Published: 21 APR 06

The Payroll Factory® is located in Pennsylvania and as a payroll processing company, we have become experts in handling the more than five thousand local taxes that exist in our state. It was much to our surprise when we discovered in January that the local tax authority where our business is located enacted a $52.00 per person Emergency Services Tax.

Why would this be a surprise to the “local tax experts”?

Most companies who have employees await the typical January packages of tax forms and updates. These show you your company’s new Unemployment Rate for the year, change in required tax filing frequencies and changes in collectors and local tax rates. Our company receives the same set of packages for our tax updates.

However, we are also preparing payroll for other companies, so we do our own tax research, look back periods for frequencies and check on changes in the local taxes of our clients. This is when we discovered from the local tax websitewww.NewPA.com
that we had a new Emergency Services Tax in our township.

The first thing I did was to check to see if we received a notification from our township that the tax had been enacted. I asked the receptionist, I asked our President and I asked the staff, “Have you seen a letter from the Township informing businesses that there is a new local tax?” The answer from all was no.

We are in an office with five other businesses. None received notification. We have many clients in our township. None received notification. The township never sent out the new tax forms for this tax nor a notice that it had been enacted.

We verified the change when we were confirming the local tax collector and the tax rates for our clients.

As an employer, what would you do in a situation like this?

We recommend that you do not wait to find out! Your company should be doing this research on a minimum of an annual basis. With the advances in the internet, this is not as cumbersome a process as it used to be.

Use the resources tab on our website to access information from different tax authorities to make sure that there are no surprise taxes waiting for you!