The IRS is not required to wait for taxpayers to send them any money that is owed; the agency can simply take it from those who have yet to pay. Wage garnishment is one way that the IRS can collect, by taking the money directly from a taxpayer’s weekly paycheck. But taxpayers do not have to suffer the humiliation of IRS wage garnishments instead of having their hard-earned money taken from them each week; taxpayers can make an offer in compromise. Believe it or not, the IRS does not want to have to take money by force.
A taxpayer must be made aware that the IRS is on the verge of making a wage garnishment; the person who owes taxes will receive a notice in the mail along with a demand for payment. If the taxpayer fails to respond to the demand for payment, the IRS will send a final notice thirty days before the wage garnishment is set to begin. This final notice may be delivered by the IRS in person, at the taxpayer’s home or place of business. It can also be sent via certified mail to the taxpayer’s last known address. Unfortunately, that last known address does not have to be the correct one, the IRS is merely required to make an attempt to notify the taxpayer and is not responsible if the last known address does not happen to be the correct one.
You can see how a taxpayer’s wages can be garnished without them first knowing about it; addresses must be kept current, or the IRS will not know where to find a taxpayer. Unfortunately, it is simple for the agency to find out where a taxpayer is employed. One good thing about garnishments is that the IRS is only allowed to take 25 percent of an employee’s disposable income. That means that that a taxpayer must be able to pay all bills before handing any money over to the IRS. Some states have a maximum amount even lower than 25 percent.
Employers will also be notified of any pending wage garnishments, as a notice will be sent directly to a taxpayer’s employer. An employer can do little about the garnishment, as law prevents employers from interfering with the duties of the IRS to collect taxes in this manner. If an employer does try to attempt to prevent garnishment, he or she can be held personally liable for these actions.
To avoid having your wages garnished against your will, be sure to keep in contact with the IRS after receiving any notices, especially after an intent to levy or notice of levy letter is received. A taxpayer should make an appointment to speak to the IRS. This way an agreement can be set up between the two parties as quickly as possible. It may be easier to work out a deal that works for your life than to have the IRS take as much money as they possibly can from your weekly paycheck. It may also be helpful to seek out the assistance of a tax specialist.
About the Author
Stewart Wrighter recently searched the term offer in compromise to find an advocate to help with an IRS tax lien. He searched the term IRS wage garnishments to find help to pay back taxes.