We’re running a short series on some of the most common problems our clients bring to us. High on the list is wage garnishment – when the IRS withholds your earnings in order to pay tax debt. If your paycheck is being garnished, don’t worry! We’re here to help.
We approach your tax problems in a unique way. We like to say we’re not just a short-term fix – we’re a long-term solution. Of course we take care of your immediate problem, but we also dig deeper and offer you solutions that fix the underlying issue. Why do you have this problem in the first place? We can figure that out – and help you develop a long-range plan so it won’t happen again.
So, what can we do about wage garnishment? Read on.
How Garnishment Works
The government can garnish your paycheck for a number of reasons – credit, student loans, child support or alimony – but if you’ve come to us, most likely it’s because you owe back taxes.
In order to garnish your earnings, the IRS issues a court order to your place of employment, directing them to withhold part of your wages. The employer then sends that money to the IRS to help pay your debt. If you’re self-employed, the government will send the wage levy to your accounts receivable. Those clients are then required to pay the IRS directly, instead of you.
Before the government can garnish your wages, they’re required to notify you by mail. They’ll typically send you two letters: “Notice of Intent to Levy Wages” and “Final Notice of Intent to Levy Wages.” If you don’t pay attention to the first one, you’ll get the second, final one. If you don’t respond to the final letter, the IRS will begin garnishing your paycheck.
If you’ve received one of these letters, it’s important to get in touch with a tax law firm IMMEDIATELY. The sooner you call a tax attorney (preferably us), the easier it is to stop the garnishment. The second Notice of Intent letter contains a built-in mechanism that we can use to stop the wage levy, but you have to call us right away, because it’s a very short time frame.
How We Can Help
Fortunately, we have a number of ways to stop or lift a wage garnishment. First, we make sure you’re compliant (get your back taxes filed, to make sure your case is not with the criminal division). Then, we can negotiate to stop the garnishment.
Our attorneys can reach an Offer in Compromise or an Installment Agreement, or get your debt placed in Currently Not Collectible status. We can also help you get your taxes filed and your accounts resolved before the IRS sends you a wage levy! It’s always best to be proactive.
If your wages are being garnished – or even if you just have questions – give us a call at 844-841-9857, or schedule a free consultation by submitting the form to the right.