Define: TFRP

Quick Summary of TFRP

The Trust Fund Recovery Penalty (TFRP) is a significant fine imposed by the IRS on employers who knowingly or intentionally withhold employee taxes owed to the IRS. Employers have the responsibility to deduct taxes from their employees’ wages and deposit them into a trust account. The IRS relies on these regular payments to fund its operations. If an employer misappropriates these funds instead of remitting them to the IRS, they will be subject to a penalty equal to the amount of taxes withheld. For instance, if a company misuses $10,000 of withheld taxes, they will be required to repay the $10,000 in addition to a $10,000 penalty. The IRS will conduct an investigation into any business or individual suspected of wrongdoing and hold them accountable for their actions.

Full Definition Of TFRP

The Trust Fund Recovery Penalty (TFRP) is a fine imposed by the IRS on employers who knowingly or willfully fail to remit employee FICA and income taxes to the IRS. Employers are required to withhold these taxes from their employees’ paychecks and deposit them into a trust, which should be periodically paid to the IRS. If an employer uses this money for other purposes instead of submitting it to the IRS, they will be subject to a TFRP equal to the amount of taxes withheld. For instance, if XYZ Co. misused $10,000 of withheld taxes, they would have to repay the $10,000 plus a $10,000 penalty. This can become significant for organisations with numerous employees. The IRS conducts investigations when it suspects wrongdoing and holds the responsible party, whether an administrator or an employee, accountable. A typical example of TFRP occurs when a small business owner withholds taxes from their employees’ paychecks but uses the funds for personal expenses instead of remitting them to the IRS. If discovered, the business owner will be charged with a TFRP. Similarly, a large corporation that invests withheld taxes in the stock market instead of submitting them to the IRS will also face a TFRP if caught. These examples highlight how TFRP serves as a penalty for employers who misuse their employees’ withheld taxes. It is crucial for employers to timely remit these taxes to the IRS to avoid penalties and legal consequences.


The TFRP is a penalty imposed by the IRS on individuals who are responsible for collecting and paying over payroll taxes but fail to do so. It is intended to hold individuals personally liable for the unpaid taxes.

Any person who is responsible for collecting, accounting for, and paying over payroll taxes can be held liable for the TFRP. This includes business owners, officers, directors, and employees with control over financial affairs.

The TFRP is equal to the unpaid amount of the withheld payroll taxes. It is calculated by multiplying the total unpaid taxes by 100% or 50%, depending on the circumstances.

Yes, the TFRP can be imposed on multiple individuals within a business if they are found to be responsible for the unpaid payroll taxes. Each individual’s liability will be determined based on their level of control and responsibility.

Yes, the TFRP can be imposed on individuals who were not aware of the unpaid taxes if they are found to be responsible for collecting and paying over the taxes. Lack of knowledge or intent is not a defence against the TFRP.

Yes, individuals who have been assessed the TFRP have the right to appeal the penalty. They can request a Collection Due Process hearing with the IRS Office of Appeals to present their case and provide any supporting evidence.

In most cases, the TFRP cannot be discharged in bankruptcy. However, there are certain circumstances where the penalty may be dischargeable, such as if the individual can prove that they did not willfully fail to pay the taxes.

The IRS has the authority to reduce or waive the TFRP if the individual can demonstrate that they acted with reasonable cause and in good faith. This typically requires showing that the failure to pay the taxes was due to circumstances beyond their control.

Yes, the IRS can enforce the TFRP through various collection actions, including wage garnishment, bank levies, and filing tax liens against the responsible individual’s property.

Yes, consulting with a tax professional, such as a tax attorney or CPA, can be beneficial when dealing with TFRP issues. They can provide guidance on the best course of action, help with the appeals process, and negotiate with the IRS on behalf of the individual.

Related Phrases
No related content found.

This site contains general legal information but does not constitute professional legal advice for your particular situation. Persuing this glossary does not create an attorney-client or legal adviser relationship. If you have specific questions, please consult a qualified attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.

This glossary post was last updated: 17th April 2024.

Cite Term

To help you cite our definitions in your bibliography, here is the proper citation layout for the three major formatting styles, with all of the relevant information filled in.

  • Page URL:
  • Modern Language Association (MLA):TFRP. DLS Solicitors. May 29 2024
  • Chicago Manual of Style (CMS):TFRP. DLS Solicitors. (accessed: May 29 2024).
  • American Psychological Association (APA):TFRP. Retrieved May 29 2024, from website:
Avatar of DLS Solicitors
DLS Solicitors : Family Law Solicitors

Our team of professionals are based in Alderley Edge, Cheshire. We offer clear, specialist legal advice in all matters relating to Family Law, Wills, Trusts, Probate, Lasting Power of Attorney and Court of Protection.

All author posts