Wage Garnishment

Wage garnishment can be a financially burdensome, stressful, and even embarrassing situation. We’re here to help you stop IRS wage garnishment and take back control.

Negotiate or Stop IRS Wage Garnishment

Wage garnishment withholds a percentage of your earnings by an employer to pay a debt or legal obligation, such as credit card debt, child support, or unpaid taxes.

IRS wage garnishment can be an extended drain on your income. The Wiggam Law tax attorneys understand the law and policy that surrounds wage garnishment, as well as the options available to avoid, negotiate or stop wage garnishment.

What Is IRS Wage Garnishment?

When you cannot pay the tax liabilities owed, the IRS can enforce wage garnishment in order to settle the tax debt. If you owe federal back taxes, the IRS may levy your assets, including your wages, to pay off some or all of your tax debt.

Frequently Asked Questions

When the IRS issues a tax lien on you for an overdue tax balance, they have the authority to garnish your wages until the tax debt is satisfied.

A tax lien enables the IRS to seize your personal property to satisfy a tax debt, including taking money from your financial accounts, seizing and selling your vehicles or real estate properties.

IRS wage garnishment is one of the options that the IRS is authorized to use to satisfy your overdue balance. Unlike private creditors, the IRS does not need to sue you first to begin garnishing your wages.

The maximum amount your wages can be garnished varies depending on the situation. For most private creditors, garnishment cannot exceed 25% of a worker’s income, and garnishment for child support is often 50-60%. For IRS wage garnishment, though, the situation is more complex.

The IRS is not subject to state and federal garnishment limitations, and so rather than a maximum percentage they can take, the IRS calculates the maximum amount of money they are required to leave you, based on your income, dependents, filing status, etc., and has the authority to take the rest.

Under IRS wage garnishment, the IRS cannot garnish your entire paycheck. Most commonly, the IRS determines a base amount of your income to leave behind and the rest of your earnings are automatically seized and put toward paying your outstanding tax balance.

While an IRS levy does permit the seizure all of your wage income, in addition to any other personal property (funds in your bank or other financial account, vehicles, real estate, etc.), if necessary, this is a separate situation from IRS wage garnishment with its own complexities and nuances.

Most wage garnishment is court-ordered. However, unlike private creditors, the IRS does not need to sue you first in order to garnish your wages. That said, the IRS will never garnish your wages without warning.

Before they take any of your wages, the IRS will send you a Final Notice of Intent to Levy by certified mail and lay out the details of your IRS wage garnishment at least 30 days in advance. This gives you the time and the opportunity you need to seek expert help in working out alternative payment arrangements or appealing the garnishment at a Collections Due Process hearing.

When does the IRS garnish wages?

In order to start wage garnishment, the IRS must first meet four requirements:

  • The IRS sends a Notice and Demand for Payment (a tax bill).
  • You decide to neglect or refuse to pay the tax.
  • The IRS sends a Final Notice of Intent to Levy and Notice of Your Right to A Hearing (levy notice) at least 30 days before the levy.

The IRS can only issue wage garnishment, or a levy, after these four requirements have been met.

What are your rights regarding IRS wage garnishment?

The IRS evaluates each case and garnishes wages based on individual circumstances. Generally, up to 90% of a taxpayer’s paycheck is subject to levy.

The exempt amount is often determined by the employer and is based on federal income tax information from the taxpayer. The IRS orders the employer to withhold a specific amount from each paycheck and send it directly to them as payment for tax debt.

If the taxpayer is an independent contractor, self-employed, or a small business owner, the IRS often levies 100% of the account receivable.

How to Stop IRS Wage Garnishment

When wage garnishment is ordered it will subtract from every paycheck until the tax debt is paid in full.

Taxpayers have several options to stop or avoid IRS wage garnishment, but sometimes don’t know what those options are for their unique circumstance. Wiggam Law tax attorneys have the knowledge and experience to match clients to the appropriate option, such as:

Our tax attorneys at Wiggam Law will represent you in your case against IRS wage garnishment. We use proven strategies that help our clients avoid, negotiate and/or stop wage garnishment, such as helping our clients negotiate an installment agreement or an Offer In Compromise.

Taxpayers have several options, but sometimes don’t know what those options are for their unique circumstance. Wiggam Law tax attorneys have the knowledge and experience to match clients to the appropriate option.

Wage Garnishment Success Story

$15,000 Refund

Before we were hired, the IRS had been garnishing our client for three years. We removed the garnishment and submitted a Request for Innocent Spouse Relief. The client’s entire liability was removed, and they received a $15,000 refund covering the majority of the garnished wages.

Wage Garnishment Success Story

“Simply Exceptional”

“We met Jason in December 2013, upon referral of Ronald Blase’, a professor at the Georgia State Tax Clinic, who felt we needed an outstanding tax attorney to handle our highly complicated tax issue.”

“We were on the brink of having our house seized and wages garnished due to a very sizable tax liability. We were in a desperate situation. From the first time we met and discussed our case with Jason, we felt a sense of relief that we were getting the expert help we urgently needed.”

“He presented our available options in handling the liability, including the details and time frame involved for each option. In hearing Jason’s knowledge and expertise of tax law and regulations, we came to realize that everything was going to be okay. I must mention that due to our dire financial situation, Jason was also willing to work with us on paying his fee.”

“It has been a long road, but Jason has been there for and with us every step of the way. In fact, not only is he an expert tax attorney, he is a very caring person. We have always felt that Jason really cares about our situation and more importantly, cares about us. He has done whatever he can to assist; he is diligent with returning our emails and telephone calls and tirelessly works for us.”

“In fact, through Jason’s efforts, we had a more than $800,000 federal tax liability discharged in November 2016. Just recently, in February 2018, Jason quickly had a wage garnishment canceled. Further, Jason is continuing to work tirelessly for us in handling our current state tax liability through an “offer in compromise”. We are confident in knowing that it will be resolved in our favor. What an absolute blessing Jason has been to us. We truly thank God for him..”


Contact Our Tax Attorneys in Atlanta, GA

The Wiggam Law tax attorneys use our professional knowledge and experience to guide taxpayers through the wage garnishment and tax levy process. We help our clients understand their rights and represent them in negotiations to avoid or stop wage garnishment.