A Guide to IRS Wage Garnishments and Levies

If you have outstanding tax debts, then the IRS can impose a number of different penalties on you until your debt is paid in full. Although the penalty should never come as a surprise, as the IRS typically sends lots of notices to warn you before taking action, it’s still a scary and stressful time all the same. So what are some of the things the IRS can do if you have unpaid taxes?

One of the main things the IRS can do is to impose a levy. A levy is the IRS’ right to legally seize your property. Levies can take several forms. They include seizing and selling off your personal property, including cars and real estate, taking money out of your bank accounts, or garnishing wages. You can also receive a notice of a levy against a third party, like your employer. When that happens, it’s important that you just comply with the levy and forfeit the property in your possession that is owned by the third party whom the levy is against. However, for the purposes of this blog, we’ll be focusing on wage garnishments, a.k.a. the IRS’ right to take a percentage of your paycheck, and what you can expect if it happens to you.

When does it happen?

As we mentioned above, the IRS will not just impose a levy on you without any warning. Before garnishing your wages, you will receive several notices regarding your unpaid taxes. The final one that you need to look out for is the IRS’ notice titled ‘Final Notice of Intent to Levy and Notice of Your Right to A Hearing’. The IRS must send you this 30 days before the levy is to start and it will only happen after you fail to either settle your debt or set up a payment plan.

What can you expect?

If the IRS garnishes your wages, they will continue to do so until your debt is paid, you make other arrangements to pay your debt, or until the levy is released. Wage garnishment is continuous and requires your employer to pay out the IRS’ percentage first before issuing the remaining amount to you.

Although federal law limits the amount other creditors can garnish your wages, there is no such statutory limit that the IRS must comply with. Although there is a cap, the tax code only requires that the IRS leave you with a certain amount and unfortunately, depending on how much you make, can amount to as high as 70% of your total income.

Contact Weisberg Kainen Mark, PL today

If you are unable to pay your taxes, and have had a levy imposed on you by the IRS, it’s essential that you speak with an experienced tax attorney as soon as possible. At Weisberg Kainen Mark, PL, we regularly help our clients deal with the IRS and can work with you find the best solution possible to preventing the further garnishment of your wages and lifting the levy. Contact us to work towards settling your tax debts today.  

Written by Weisberg Kainen Mark, PL

Weisberg Kainen Mark, PL

Weisberg Kainen Mark, PL is a Miami-based law firm focused on providing comprehensive legal support to individuals and corporate entities caught up in tax controversies or charged with a criminal act. As experienced trial lawyers with a passion for justice, our firm provides clients with compelling advocacy, attorney availability, and creative solutions to your tax or criminal law matters.