page contents
  • dave rosa

What To Do About IRS Garnishment

Updated: Aug 23


Coast to Coast - IRS Help

IRS Tax Relief - Tax Debt Help

IRS Garnishment - Tax Garnishment - Tax Levy

Failure to pay an "everyday debt", may have creditors obtaining a court order from a judge to collect their money directly from your wages, which could take months and cost hundreds if not thousands of dollars in legal fees. Not the case with the IRS. The IRS is a super creditor, and one of its superpowers is that it doesn’t have to bother with court orders to garnish your wages. All the agency needs to do is send a notice to any address that they have on file for you.

When you owe a tax debt, the IRS sends out a series of notices. Fail to pay it and they’ll send another bill, which will include any penalties and interest accrued since the previous bill. Insist in not paying and the IRS will start collection actions. These enforcement actions include seizing your tax refunds, or ordering a tax levy to confiscate your bank account, wages, paycheck, etc.

So what should you do if the IRS garnishes your wages?

You Can "Lawyer Up" - If you don’t agree with the amount, collect any evidence that supports your claim, such as tax returns, cancelled checks, or other documents that show why the amount on the bill is wrong or has already been paid. Hire an experienced tax professional (Tax Attorney, C.P.A., or Enrolled Agent) to represent you. It is to your advantage if yo

Pay the Tax Debt in Full

If you agree with the amount the IRS claims you owe but can’t afford to pay it, you can enter into an Installment Agreement. Before you agree to a payment plan with the IRS, you should check with a tax professional. The IRS has many rules regarding everything and Installment Agreements are no exception.

The first step is to contact the IRS and check whether you actually owe the tax.

Audit Reconsideration - For instance, it is possible you forgot or failed to respond to a previous IRS notice and the IRS may have assessed your tax liability based on incorrect assumptions. If so, request the IRS to reconsider the assessment.

Innocent Spouse Relief The IRS may be charging you for taxes owed on your spouse’s income. Generally, spouses are responsible for the full amount owed on a joint tax return, but you may qualify for innocent spouse relief if the taxes are based on “mistakes” or “omissions” on your spouse’s income.Having the IRS grant Innocent Spouse Relief is extremely difficult. Once again, consult with a tax professional first. Identity Theft If the IRS tax levy seizing your paycheck may be the first you heard about your tax debt, you can call the IRS. You could be the victim of identity theft. If you are the victim of identity theft, the IRS will not be very helpful if you try to get this rectified on your own. It's easier for the agency to take your money than it is to fix the problem. However, the IRS will pay attention to a tax professional.

Collection Alternatives

If you agree with the tax debt but the wage garnishment (tax levy) will impose too much of a hardship, call the IRS and ask for a levy release. This won’t get rid of the tax debt, but it will give you some breathing time while the IRS assesses alternative payment methods.

The IRS offers three main alternatives to a wage garnishment:

Enter into a monthly installment agreementTaxpayers who owe $50,000 or less in taxes, can apply online to set up a payment agreement. How much you pay every month will depend on your income and living expenses. Paying a monthly installment through an employer comes with a one-time $120 fee; while using a direct debit agreement has a $52 fee.

Request an Offer in CompromiseThis is the most attractive tax relief option because it means you only pay cents on the dollar of your tax debt. To be eligible and qualified for a tax settlement with an Offer in Compromise submission doesn't mean you need to be destitute. You only need to have a lack of assets after paying all of your allowable expenses. Allowable expense include but is not limited to housing payment, car payment(s), health insurance, etc.

Qualify as “Currently not Collectible.  If you cannot do an Offer in Compromise because of the amount of your tax debt (less than $10,000), the IRS will temporarily stop the collection process on taxpayers who are currently unable to pay their debt but who the IRS considers may be able to pay it in the future. Penalties and interest will continue to accrue on the debt, but you won't be making payments. The Statute of Limitations will continue to run out. You tax debt may end up going away while you are Currently not Collectible.

An IRS garnishment is usually reserved for taxpayers who have ignored a couple of overdue tax bills and the IRS’s Final Notice of Intent to Levy.


Our team of tax professionals usually stop a wage garnishment in one day just by talking to the IRS. Although you can deal with the IRS directly, you should talk to tax lawyer, CPA or enrolled agent whenever you have an IRS tax problem with the IRS. IRS procedures are purposefully complex, so contact Flat Fee Tax Relief to work through the IRS complexities for you.

The IRS is not your friend and certainly doesn’t have your best interests at heart. The IRS wants to do 2 things: collect money and close a case. Even if we can settle you tax debt for $100 the IRS will be satisfied. Their statistic will show a collection and that the case is closed. It's our job to settle your tax debt for as little as possible and for your case to be closed by the IRS.


5 views0 comments