Owing back taxes to the IRS often results in wage garnishment. The IRS will send a notice to your employer letting them know that you owe back taxes and that your employer must now withhold a certain amount from your paycheck and send it to the IRS.

Watch Top Tax Defenders' Director of Operations Priya Mishra explain the different types of wage garnishments and how our team can help slow down the IRS Collections process.

What is Wage Garnishment?

Wage garnishment is an order directing a third party (usually an employer) to seize assets (typically wages) from an employee to settle unpaid tax debt. It's a debt collection tool the IRS uses.  

The IRS does not need a court order to order your wages garnished. If you owe back taxes, the IRS can notify your employer to let them know. After that, your employer must withhold a certain amount of your wages and remit it to the IRS. The amount an employer withholds can come from both wages and also federal payments like Social Security and tax refunds.

According to federal law, your employer cannot fire you for a wage garnishment order from the IRS.

The statute of limitations, or time the IRS has to enforce this collection process, is 10 years from the date of assessment, but there are several catches to how the IRS counts the time. It’s best not to try to wait it out.

How Much Can the IRS Take?

If you're filing as single and claim zero dependents, the IRS can take all but $561.54 of your biweekly paycheck. If you're married, filing jointly, and have a child, the IRS can take all but $1315.39 from your biweekly paycheck. These amounts are occasionally adjusted though. Because a wage garnishment may leave you with barely enough to cover your monthly mortgage or other recurring payments, you are in a much better position if you can stop wage garnishments before they start.


How You Can Stop Wage Garnishment

You do have the right to object or protest the garnishment by proving legal eligibility for a change or reversal to the judgment. You can also stop the garnishment by negotiating and agreeing to a payment plan where you make monthly payments of a set amount, usually lower than the garnishment amount.

An experienced tax firm like Top Tax Defenders can negotiate with the IRS, establishing an installment plan instead of wage garnishment. Under an installment plan, you'll be expected to make monthly payments of a set amount, usually much less than wage garnishment amounts. It is even possible to settle your tax debt for less than you owe under an installment plan, meaning you'll be done paying off your debt sooner.

If you've fallen on hard economic times and cannot possibly make payments to the IRS at this time, you may be eligible to be placed on the IRS's Currently Not Collectible status. This means a temporary end to IRS collection efforts, including mailings and phone calls. Periodically, you will be expected to re-qualify for Currently Not Collectible status.

Hire Tax Professionals

The best way to stop wage garnishments is with an experienced tax firm on your side, guiding you through the process. Call Top Tax Defenders as soon as you receive a wage garnishment notice, and you can stop wage garnishments and keep the paycheck you need to pay your bills.

Top Tax Defenders takes fighting for our clients seriously, and offers a firm with experience:


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