On Dec. 8, 2015, the IRS launched the Early Interaction Initiative to identify employers who appear to be falling behind on their payroll or employment taxes, and help them stay in compliance to avoid interest and penalty charges.
Employers are required to deposit withheld federal income, Social Security and Medicare taxes from employees' wages along with the employer-matching contributions through the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS). Then those payments, known as federal tax deposits (FTDs), are later reported on a return usually filed on a quarterly basis to the IRS. However, employers sometimes don't make the FTDs on time because of various reasons, for example, some employers face liquidity difficulties, or miscommunications with third party payroll service companies.
In the past, employers wouldn't receive letters from the IRS until after the employment return was filed and the unpaid tax already incurred penalty charges and interest. This new initiative will monitor deposit patterns and identify employers whose payments decline or are late. Employers who meet this criteria may be contacted by the IRS with a reminder letter, automated phone message or a call from an IRS revenue officer.