Created by Two Internal Revenue Service Veterans to Help Employers Save Money

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Tax attorney Vincent Surabian and Enrolled Agent Margie Shattuck co-founded Employment Tax Consultants LLC ( to combine their unique payroll and employment tax experience and perspective in order to help employers with federal and state payroll tax problems and penalties.

While working at the IRS, Surabian and Shattuck knew many employers did not understand the complicated payroll tax deposit rules and simply pay costly penalties because they do not know how to avoid them or how to fight them on their own. Upon their retirement the two created ETC out of their desire to put all employers on equal footing when dealing with the IRS and state agencies to secure the most favorable outcome for them when they find themselves in non-compliant situations.

The mission of ETC is to successfully resolve payroll tax problems and penalties; to educate employers about their filing and depositing obligations; and to interact with federal and state taxing authorities on their behalf. Speaking to employers, Surabian states “In short, our goal is simply to help you keep what’s yours.”

The National Payroll Reporting Consortium reports 1.5 million employers use reporting agents to file their employment tax returns and to make the required payroll tax deposits. Based on figures from the Independent Payroll Providers Association and the IRS, it is estimated another 1.5 million use independent payroll providers, accountants, enrolled agents, and other paid preparers to do the same. Shattuck indicates very few of those third party filers have the staff or expertise to successfully deal with payroll problems and remove penalties that arise after they file their clients’ tax returns. In addition, relatively simple issues become compounded because of the two to three year time lag before the IRS reconciles employment tax data with other federal and state agencies. “Because employers start, stop, or change payroll companies mid-year and because employer and payroll company acquisitions are becoming more common, most employers and payroll companies are ill equipped to deal with IRS reconciliation problems two or three years after the fact” says Shattuck.

Surabian and Shattuck both recognize that employers are best served when paid preparers can focus on what those companies do best - run payroll systems, compute and deposit related employment tax liabilities, and file accurate employment tax and information returns. Both see ETC not as a replacement, but as value added – the right tool for the job.

ETC is headquartered in Arlington, VA, but the company ably assists employers across the country via their website, Whether employers use paid preparers or not, ETC’s experienced federal and state tax consultants provide one-stop service for resolving all of their payroll tax related problems and penalties, regardless of where the employers are located or what business they are in.


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Margie Shattuck

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