How to Stop Wage Garnishment By the IRS

If you owe money to the IRS, there is a chance that your wages could be garnished. This may reduce your take home pay substantially, which may make it harder to stay current on your other bills. Let’s take a look at what you can do to end wage garnishment by the IRS and regain some semblance of financial freedom.

Pay Your Outstanding Balance in Full

Perhaps the easiest way to get rid of a wage garnishment is to pay your outstanding balance in full. Once the payment has been received, the garnishment is usually removed automatically. You may want to contact the IRS to let them know that you are sending payment and when they can expect it. For best results, it may be a good idea to send your payment online or pay over the phone by credit card, debit card or check.

Make Arrangements to Pay Over Time

If you can’t afford to pay the IRS what you currently owe, it may be possible to enter into an installment agreement. This allows you to make payments on a monthly basis from a dedicated checking account or from a credit card of your choice. Fees may apply to enter into an installment agreement, and convenience fees may also apply each time that you make a payment. In most cases, the garnishment will be removed as long as you abide by the agreement’s terms.

Dispute the Balance Owed

The IRS generally only garnishes wages if it believes that there is a legitimate balance owed. Furthermore, garnishment generally only occurs after several attempts to come to an arrangement with a taxpayer to resolve the debt. If you have chosen to ignore previous notices from the government, it may be worth reviewing the reason why your wages are being garnished.

Federal tax collection procedures give you the right to dispute any debt the IRS claims that you owe. Even if you have reason to believe that the debt is legitimate, it could provide more time to find the money needed to pay back taxes owed.

Ask for a Hardship Waiver

If you have reason to believe that a wage garnishment could result in a financial hardship, you could ask for a hardship waiver. A waiver would result in the IRS dropping the levy it has imposed on your wages or other compensation. The IRS does have to allow you enough money to pay for basic necessities such as food, clothing and housing. It may also allow enough money for transportation to and from work.

File for Bankruptcy

While filing for bankruptcy won’t put an end to your tax debt, it may provide you with an opportunity to negotiate new payment terms. It may also mean that penalties and interest will not be added to the amount that you currently owe. If you make payments in good faith during a bankruptcy case, the IRS may be willing to forgive any amount that is still owed after the repayment period is over.

Quitting Your Job Won’t Help

It is important to point out that quitting your job won’t help you get out of paying your taxes. The government may be allowed to seize any unemployment benefits that you receive as well as take any portion of a federal refund that you may be entitled to. If that isn’t enough to satisfy a back tax debt, you could still be subject to wage garnishment when you find a new job.

The IRS has an almost unlimited capacity to obtain any money that it is owed. Therefore, you should never hope that the government will simply forget about a past debt or that it won’t take steps to collect. The best thing to do is to acknowledge what you owe and make arrangements to pay it off in a timely manner.


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