Have you been having problems with the IRS? Have you noticed that you are consistently taking home a smaller paycheck? If your answer to both of those questions is “yes”, there is a good chance that the IRS is garnishing your wages. Further, it probably does not come as much surprise to you, as the IRS is legally obligated to provide you notice and opportunity to pay your taxes before taking this step. So unless you have been ignoring numerous letters from the IRS that have come in the mail, you are aware that you have a delinquent tax obligation and a levy has been placed on your wages.
Is the IRS allowed to garnish your wages? Yes, it can. In fact, under the Internal Revenue Code, the IRS is legally authorized to do so without having to obtain a court order. It can also place a levy on any other source of income or savings you may have, and even seize and sell your property. However, the IRS takes this step only after the following efforts to reach you have failed:
- The IRS has mailed you your tax bill and a demand for payment.
- You ignored or refused to pay your tax bill.
- The IRS sends you a Notice of Intent to Levy, either by mail or in person to your home or place of employment.
- You continue to refuse to pay or you continue to ignore these notices.
The levy may be released if you can demonstrate an “immediate economic hardship.” The IRS is aware that if it financially ruins you, there is little chance that it can collect any more money from you. However, releasing the levy does not free you of your obligation to pay your outstanding tax obligation. In addition, if the levy is preventing you from paying a child support obligation, the IRS will free that amount so that your child support will continue.
How does a wage levy end? When you pay your tax obligation or you agree to some sort of payment plan which includes the release of the levy. Or, the levy may be released if you can convince the IRS that doing so will help you pay your obligation. I hope you have read this and take away the following advice: Don’t ignore letters from the IRS. Looking the other way will not help you. If you receive a tax bill that is significantly higher than you expected or that you don’t believe you can afford, contact a tax attorney to weigh your options. The IRS is interested in generating revenue, so if you demonstrate some willingness to pay or to at least talk with them about how to settle your bill, you can probably avoid a levy on your paycheck.
I can help you negotiate with the IRS if your wages are being garnished. I take your tax troubles very seriously, and as a result, so will the IRS. With over twenty years of legal experience and a Master of Law Degree (LLM) in Taxation, I can provide a level of expertise to get you to the other side. Call me at the Law Offices of Robert S. Thomas today at 847-392-5893 to schedule a consultation or visit our website to set up a consultation online.