Seward woman sentenced for not turning in payroll taxes to IRS

Published: Dec. 14, 2022 at 5:08 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 14, 2022 at 5:43 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

LINCOLN, Neb. (KSNB) - A Seward woman learned her sentence after being convicted for willful failure to collect or pay employment taxes.

U.S. District Judge John M. Gerrard sentenced Melissa Grantski, 51, to 5 years probation, 10 weekends of intermittent confinement, $58,403.64 in restitution, and a $100 special assessment. There is no parole in the federal system.

This case began in October of 2017 when Internal Revenue Service officers noticed that Grantski had an unpaid tax debt for failing to pay payroll taxes. Unbeknownst to investigators at the time, Grantski was already on probation for a similar conviction out of Seward County. Investigators unsuccessfully worked with Grantski to come into compliance with tax laws and pay off her tax debt.

Grantski was the president, secretary, treasurer, and owner of a trucking and hauling business in Seward. She exercised control over the business affairs, including authorizing business expenses, authorizing payment of employee paychecks, signing of employee paychecks, approval of payments made by the corporation, and approval of payment of payroll taxes to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Grantski was required to withhold taxes from its employees’ paychecks, including federal income taxes, and Medicare and Social Security taxes, commonly called “payroll taxes.” Grantski was required to make deposits of payroll taxes to the IRS on a periodic basis. In addition, Grantski was required to file quarterly tax returns setting forth the total amount of wages and other compensation subject to withholding, the total amount of income taxes withheld, the total amount of payroll taxes due, and the total tax deposits.

Grantski had authority required to exercise significant control over the corporate financial business affairs of the business, and had the responsibility to collect, truthfully account for, and pay over payroll taxes to the IRS. During seven quarters between 2015 and 2017, Grantski failed to pay over to the IRS payroll taxes due. Federal tax deductions were made from employees’ paychecks, but Grantski did not forward the taxes to the IRS and did not file the quarterly return. In total, Grantski failed to account for and failed to pay over approximately $58,403.64 in payroll taxes between 2015 – 2017. Prior to sentencing, Grantski paid all of this restitution to the IRS.

This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation.