I am a basic 30 year old filing Single, W2, healthy working individual. No dependents, no additional schedules, capital gains or losses other than Student Loan interest expense.
I started a new job in January 2019 and somehow during my new hire enrollment, "I or someone" marked in my file as Exempt... I am pretty familiar with filing my own 1040 (as its pretty basic)and I know for a fact that I would never for under any reason think that I am Exempt from absolutely anything tax related. Nobody in my new job's HR department reached out to confirm whether this Exemption was correct or not with me personally. My CPA said that anytime they receive an Exempt W-4 form, that they automatically return the form to the employer to confirm.
I unknowingly went 11 full months in 2019 without any taxes being withheld. Of course my paycheck was more than before, but I also got a better/higher salary job, so I never thought about the difference being from not paying taxes. And, no I do not print out my paystubs. It’s all through Paycom and it clearly shows you your gross pay & a "$XXX" amount in deductions/withholdings - kicker is, you have to click the drop down menu to actually see the entire breakdown. At which point, I never saw the big $0 in taxes being withheld... I know the taxes have to be paid one way or another, but I don't feel like I should be entirely responsible for a $5k-$6k tax liability for a HR clerical error. Even if I did actually input it incorrectly the first time.
Is there a way to check with the IRS to see if they indeed receive my file as Exempt and if they did actually return it to my Employer? I’m just wondering if either HR forgot to follow up with me or even IF the IRS does actually cull these exempt requests in the first place? I don't have the liquidity to simply pay the IRS all at once.
What would be my best option going forward?