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IRS Wage Garnishments:

Hitting Below the Belt

By: Abagaile Odalis


Ah, pay day.  Pay day is the day that makes all of your hard work during the week worth it.  And this is a good pay day since youre going to have some money left over after paying your bills.  You open the check and - The check is half of what it normally is!  You go to the payroll clerk, your anger building with each step.  And then you find out that the IRS has put a garnishment, also called a wage levy, on your wages.  Worst of all they've taken up to 80% of your pay check!   


The IRS garnishing your wages seems harsh and unfair!  The lifestyle you used to have has suddenly been ripped away from you.  You're panicked and don't know how you're going to afford your basic bills.  You can't buy your kids new clothes for school, heck you can't even buy them school supplies.  You are definitely feeling the pain of one of the most crushing collection tools in the IRS tax levy arsenal.the wage levy!


What about those of you living on disability or social security?  Your fixed income can be garnished just as easily.  In fact Social Security can be garnished up to 15%.   


As far as the IRS is concerned, it is open season on any and all money you have coming in.  Once the IRS has you in its sites, there is no escape!  Any type of IRS tax levy is financially devastating, no doubt about it.


At this point everything seems very, very bleak.  But there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  You can get an IRS wage garnishment lifted, and even though there are conditions they are more favorable than continuing to lose half of your paycheck every week.  What can you do to get an IRS wage garnishment lifted?  Here are a couple of suggestions:


         Enter into a payment plan with the IRS.  With an IRS payment plan you pay a monthly amount to the IRS.  As long as you pay this amount each month on time your IRS wage garnishment will be lifted.  Here's the condition though, the IRS determines what your payment will be.  This payment can be a strain for you, but remember how much of a strain the alternative is! 


         Negotiate for a settlement with the IRS by hiring a tax professional experienced in IRS tax levy problems and tax debt negotiation.  While negotiating with the IRS, collection activities are put on hold until a resolution can be reached.  Once your settlement has been accepted or denied you're back in the danger zone, but as long as you live up to the terms of the settlement agreement you should be fine. 


IRS wage garnishments are one of the most brutal collection tactics used by the IRS.  The best way to deal with a wage garnishment, however, is to respond to the IRS before a wage garnishment can be placed on you.  If it is too late now, then seek professional tax assistance immediately to work on having your wage garnishment lifted. 


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