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      April 19, 2019

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Can the IRS Garnish Wages?

Few agencies can strike fear into the hearts of Americans in quite the same way the IRS does.

Rumors abound when it comes to the long-arm of the IRS. One of the biggest rumors is that if taxpayers make a mistake on their tax return, the IRS will audit them. Another popular rumor is that the IRS can send you to jail for minor tax infractions.

While it’s true that making outrageous claims on your tax returns, such as donating 50 percent of one’s income to charity, will often cause the IRS to examine your return more closely, taxpayers should not be afraid to claim legitimate deductions for fear of being audited.

However, one of the powers the IRS does possess is the ability to garner wages for past-due taxes. Like any other creditor, the IRS has the ability to recover what is owed. However, unlike other creditors – which must first obtain a court judgment before garnishing wages – the IRS is not required to first get a judgment before it may garner taxpayers’ wages.

Taxpayers who are about to have their wages garnished will first receive notice from the IRS that the action is about to occur. That notice will come in the form of a written document which contains the amount owed to the IRS. The IRS is required to itemize the full amount, indicating how much is the actual tax owed, how much is penalties for failure to pay and how much of it is interest.

The notice also will include a date by which payment in full is expected. If payment is not received by the date specified on the notice, the IRS will then take action to collect the monies owed. Actions they are permitted to take include the seizure of assets, the placing of liens on a taxpayer’s property, garnishing wages or claiming future tax refunds.

While federal law limits the amount of money creditors can take directly from a person’s wages, the IRS is not subject to those same guidelines. Tax code simply dictates what the IRS must leave taxpayers whose wages they garnish. Basically, a taxpayer will be left with only what the IRS deems is necessary for the payment of their basic needs.

So what happens if you are one of those taxpayers who owe a significant amount in back taxes? Can you automatically expect to have your wages garnished?

The good news – if there is perhaps ever any good news when the IRS is involved – is that wage garnishment is usually a last resort for the IRS. Taxpayers who attempt to work with the IRS to pay what they owe will find the process a lot easier than having their wages garnished.

One of the most popular options is for taxpayers to enter into what is known as an installment agreement with the IRS. Taxpayers who agree to an installment repayment plan are seen as being in compliance, and the IRS is less likely to take a harsher course of action – like wage garnishment – to recover back taxes. The only down side to an installment plan is that interest continues to accrue on the total amount owed while taxpayers are making payments, similar to what happens when a person makes only the minimum payment on a full credit card balance.

Those who are facing the possibility of wage garnishment from the IRS may wish to consult a reliable tax relief agency or professional legal counsel to determine which option is best for them.

Lawmakers unveil more ambitious property tax relief proposal, raising sales tax ¾ of a cent

LINCOLN - State lawmakers upped the ante Wednesday, unveiling an even more ambitious property tax relief proposal amid another round of darts from Gov. Pete Ricketts. The new tax plan, detailed by ...

Published:  Wed, 17 Apr 2019 13:54:00 GMT



Ricketts blasts revised property tax relief plan that hikes sales tax rate by three-quarters of a cent

The Legislature's Revenue Committee unveiled a revised tax reform package on Wednesday that would increase the state sales tax rate by three-quarters of a cent in order to help fund $500 million ...

Published:  Wed, 17 Apr 2019 11:55:00 GMT



Tax Day freebies: Get some relief with $1 margaritas, meal deals, free massages and more

Don't write Tax Day off completely - it's a big day for deals and freebies. Regardless of whether you owe money or are getting a refund, some businesses are marking the tax return deadline with ...

Published:  Fri, 12 Apr 2019 19:07:00 GMT



Vastly different Florida Senate, House tax plans advance

House and Senate tax-relief bills are making their way to floor votes but will require extended negotiations over the session's final two weeks to produce a package Gov. Ron DeSantis will sign. Among ...

Published:  Thu, 18 Apr 2019 05:56:00 GMT



Nebraska panel pitches sales tax hike to help fund $500M in property tax relief

LINCOLN -- The Nebraska Legislature's Revenue Committee unveiled a revised tax reform package on Wednesday that would increase the state sales tax rate by three-quarters of a cent in order to help ...

Published:  Wed, 17 Apr 2019 14:03:00 GMT



Property tax relief: Tax shift vs. budget cuts

How are you going to cut property taxes without replacement revenue Where are you going to get that revenue without changing the state's tax structure These are two of the lingering questions as ...

Published:  Wed, 17 Apr 2019 06:23:00 GMT



Five takeaways from Legislature's property tax relief proposal

- It takes some political guts to propose an increase in state sales taxes. Lawmakers have failed to win re-election for more minor changes, such as upping the state gas tax or giving cities the ...

Published:  Wed, 17 Apr 2019 17:43:00 GMT



Midwest Lawmakers File Tax Relief Bill for Disaster Victims

Midwest lawmakers last week introduced a bill that would provide tax relief for disaster victims stemming from events this spring. Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa announced the Tax Relief Act of 2019.

Published:  Tue, 16 Apr 2019 04:26:00 GMT



Property Tax Hack Finally Gets Senate Nod

For two months, the 2.5% property tax revenue cap legislation launched in January has been stalled in both chambers, as lawmakers try to sort out how the "relief" and "reform" proposals will impact ...

Published:  Thu, 18 Apr 2019 02:14:00 GMT



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