How To Stop IRS Wage Garnishments

Frustrated couple doing their bills in the living-room

Stop IRS from Garnishing Wages

Dealing with the IRS is often complicated and stressful for someone who is unaware of their practices. If you require IRS tax debt relief, understanding how to stop IRS wage garnishments may be helpful. Wage garnishments are where the IRS takes a portion out of your paycheck to make up for missing tax payments. The IRS will not surprise you with wage garnishment. They will only use the wage garnishment tactic after attempting to recover the lost taxes for months with no success. They often wait to use wage garnishment last because it is the strongest weapon in their arsenal, second only to have you sent to jail. If they sent you to jail, they likely would not be recovering any of their missing debt, so they would like to find a friendly solution first. They will only attempt to garnish your wages if they feel that they have no other alternative.

What happens when the IRS stops your wages?

When the IRS attempts to take a chunk out of your wages, they must first go through your boss. It is easy for them to get your bosses cooperation because if they fail to cooperate, they will then be responsible for your debts. After they receive the necessary help from your boss, you will see a 25+% decrease on your paycheck. The IRS is often not concerned with leaving you enough to live. They just want the money that you owe them. Even if you are caught up with your taxes, the IRS may garnish your wages if you spouse has not.

The IRS cannot take your entire check, but they will often take so much that you can no longer pay your bills and buy groceries. They will continue taking your wages until they have recovered what you owe, penalties and interest included. IF you can avoid having the IRS garnish your wages, you should seek to do so. A compromise with the IRS will save you both time and money. Before they begin to garnish your wages, they will send you a final notice. The final notice will tell you that you have thirty days before they start the process. If you can offer a compromise, that is the best chance you will get.

Possible methods of stopping wage garnishment

Before the IRS meets with you to discuss anything, you need to comply with their rules. You must file taxes for every year. From there, you have a few options:

The obvious answer is to pay them what you owe. They have no reason to attack you or your wages if you can simply pay off your debt. Anything you can legally do to pay your debt will be worth it. You may not be able to pay off the entire debt, but the IRS may agree to work with you.  Essentially, you show the IRS that this is all of the money they are going to be able to see for a long time, and they might agree to cut your debt down.

Negotiate with the IRS

Before you attempt this maneuver, you will want to speak to a tax attorney in Atlanta who has experience dealing with similar issues. If you cannot offer a sizable enough amount to the IRS to get them to compromise outright, you may still offer a payment plan. If the IRS agrees to your installment plan, you will have three years to pay off your debt.

Stop IRS Wage Garnishments

Another option you have is to show the IRS that their garnishment is making it impossible for you to make ends meet. They may agree to let up their garnishments for a time if you can prove that you are not making enough to make ends meet. A well-trained tax attorney would be a great boon on this endeavor because they know the formulas the IRS uses to calculate if you hardship meets their definition.

There are a few more options, although they are slightly more extreme. The first is to find another job. Wage garnishments are tied to the employer that they contacted, so switching jobs will force them to set up another garnishment with another employer. However, it takes time to set up a garnishment. You may be able to receive an average check for a few months before the IRS catches up.

The most extreme option is to file for bankruptcy. While filing for bankruptcy will have a major effect on the rest of your financial life, it will stop wage garnishments for a time. It is important to note that filing for bankruptcy will not make your debt go away. You will just have more time before you have to pay it off.

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