Some taxpayers think that the IRS can garnish wages without warning but the agency actually has several procedural rules that it follows when agents begin the wage garnishment process. By learning about the IRS rules for wage garnishment taxpayers who have outstanding back tax balances can prepare themselves to stop the wage garnishment process and avail themselves of the options they have.
The IRS cannot garnish your wages without giving you ample notice before the garnishment begins. According to the tax laws the IRS must give you advance warning before beginning to garnish your wages. If you pay off your outstanding balance during the window of time your garnishment will be halted. You might also be able to avoid the garnishment if you work out an installment agreement during the early notice period.
2. There must be documentation showing your delinquent tax bill.
To proceed with a garnishment the IRS must have proof of your refusal or inability to pay your outstanding balance. If there are no records to support the agency's claim that you owe taxes or if the record keeping process hasn't been followed correctly the IRS cannot proceed with garnishing your wages.
3. You should get a second notice 30 days before the garnishment begins.
In addition to sending out the early notice, the IRS is required to send you a second warning called a Final Notice of Intent to Levy. After this notice, you'll have 30 days to work out an arrangement with the IRS before the garnishment begins. Along with the final notice, you'll also get a letter informing you of your right to request an appeal. After you receive these notices you must request your appeal within the 30 day window in order to have a hearing.
To serve as proof that the wage garnishment notice was delivered, the IRS must send the Final Notice of Intent to you by either certified or registered mail. However, the letter doesn't have to be delivered to you personally, so it's important that you check your mail and make sure that you receive the notice on the day it's delivered. This will give you the full amount of time to request your hearing or file your appeal.
Before the IRS can proceed with garnishing your wages, there are several steps the agency has to follow. Talking with a tax resolution professional can help you learn about the IRS rules for wage garnishment, you'll understand how long you have to file an appeal and how you can prepare yourself for the process.