What is Wage Garnishment?
When the IRS, or California Franchise Tax Board garnishes your wages it can be devastating. Typically you are allowed to keep a portion of your income. The tax authority does not need to go to court to garnish your wages. Your employer will give you a copy of the garnishment when they receive it. This will likely be your first notice of a wage garnishment. A wage garnishment stays in place until the debt is paid, or arrangements are made.
The IRS and California Franchise Tax Board use wage garnishment when other methods of collection have not worked. Taxpayers in San Diego, CA are in jeopardy of wage garnishment if they have ignored previous attempts to collect taxes. Call Tax Relief Advisers, LLC we can help and the consultation is FREE. Hiding is the worst thing you can do.
IRS Wage Garnishment Process:
You should receive several notices prior to a wage garnishment. Usually the last letter you receive before a garnishment is a “Notice of Intent to Levy and Right to Appeal.” If you have been assigned to a Revenue Officer they can come to your house, or place of work. Contrary to what you may have heard, the IRS does try to notify you before they start taking your wages.
How to Stop an IRS Wage Garnishment:
Once a wage garnishment is in force, dealing with the IRS can be difficult. If the IRS garnishes your wages, the money is sent to the IRS each pay period until:
- You make other arrangements.
- The overdue taxes you owe has been paid.
If the IRS garnishes your wages, the money is sent to the IRS each pay period until:
- Pay your debt in full
- The time to collect expires
- You file bankruptcy. This may not erase your tax debt but will stop collection efforts temporarily.
- You submit an Offer in Compromise, a payment plan or some other acceptable resolution.
- You can show a hardship. This is where professional assistance can be very valuable.
Can the IRS take my wages from me, and if so, how much?
The IRS can take most of your money. The amount they can garnish is your gross pay less an exempt amount. For Example: if you earn $1000 a week and $500 is exempt they take $500. If you earn $1500 a week they will take $1000 etc. Essentially, they will leave you at the poverty line.
My social security and pension are safe, right?
No, your social security and pension are not safe. The IRS can and will garnish both. Social Security is easy because they have a record of it at their fingertips.
I owe taxes from eight years ago. Am I at risk?
Yes. The IRS has ten years to recover money you owe from taxes, and this is ten years from the date of assessment. The California Franchise Tax Board has even longer.
My wage garnishment completely surprised me. Can I appeal?
The appeal process is 30 days from the "Notice of Intent to Levy and Notice of Your Right to a Hearing." You would have received this prior to the actual wage garnishment. If the 30 days has passed you can still appeal. However, at this point it is easier and quicker to negotiate.
Often a Collection Due Process "appeal" can make the situation worse. Many tax settlement companies use this process inappropriately. Collection Due Process should be reseved in cases when you actually don't owe the money.
Are there any alternatives to wage garnishment?
Yes. If the IRS, or California Franchise Tax Board garnishes your wages, or threatens to garnish your wages, we can help you. There is always a better option than garnishment.
Non-collectible, offer, payment plan, partial payment plan, deferrment, postponment are all available options.
Contact Tax Relief Advisers, LLC for a Free Consultation.