Can You Stop an IRS Garnishment Once It Starts?

Understanding IRS Wage Garnishment

When you owe back taxes to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), they have the authority to seize a portion of your wages to satisfy the debt. This is known as a wage garnishment or wage levy. The IRS will typically notify you in advance of their intent to levy your wages, giving you an opportunity to respond and potentially avoid the garnishment.

Options to Stop a Wage Garnishment

If you are facing an IRS wage garnishment, there are several options you can explore to stop or modify it:

1. Pay the Tax Debt in Full

The most straightforward way to stop a wage garnishment is to pay the outstanding tax debt in full. Once the debt is paid, the IRS will release the garnishment.

2. Prove Financial Hardship

You may be able to convince the IRS to stop the garnishment if you can demonstrate that it is causing undue financial hardship. This involves providing detailed financial information and explaining how the garnishment is impacting your ability to meet essential expenses.

3. Request an Installment Agreement

An installment agreement allows you to pay off your tax debt over time in smaller, more manageable installments. If you enter into an installment agreement, the IRS may suspend the wage garnishment while you are making payments.

4. Offer in Compromise

In certain circumstances, you may be eligible for an offer in compromise (OIC). An OIC allows you to settle your tax debt for less than the full amount owed. If your OIC is accepted, the IRS will release the wage garnishment.

5. File for Bankruptcy

Filing for bankruptcy can temporarily stop the IRS from collecting on your tax debt, including wage garnishment. However, bankruptcy does not eliminate your tax debt, and you will still be responsible for paying it back after the bankruptcy is discharged.

6. Challenge the Garnishment

If you believe that the IRS has made an error in issuing the garnishment, you can challenge it by filing an appeal. You may need to provide evidence to support your claim, such as proof that you do not owe the tax debt or that the garnishment is causing undue hardship.

Additional Considerations

  • Contact the IRS Promptly: If you are facing a wage garnishment, it is crucial to contact the IRS immediately to discuss your options. The sooner you address the issue, the more likely you are to find a solution that works for you.
  • Seek Professional Help: Dealing with the IRS can be complex. Consider seeking the assistance of a tax attorney or other qualified professional who can guide you through the process and help you navigate the legal and financial implications.
  • Avoid Quitting Your Job: Quitting your job will not stop the wage garnishment. The IRS can still pursue other methods to collect the debt, such as seizing your assets or bank accounts.

While an IRS wage garnishment can be a stressful and challenging situation, there are options available to stop or modify it. By exploring the options outlined above and seeking professional help when necessary, you can work towards resolving your tax debt and regaining financial stability.

Can a garnishment be stopped once the IRS has started to garnish my wages?


Can IRS wage garnishment be stopped?

Under the law, you have the right to an appeal of IRS wage garnishment if you dispute what you owe. You must request an appeal within 30 days of receiving the IRS “Final Notice of Intent to Levy”.

Can I call the IRS and stop a garnishment?

If you receive an IRS bill titled Final Notice, Notice of Intent to Levy and Your Right to A Hearing, contact the IRS right away. Call the number on your billing notice, or individuals may contact the IRS at 800-829-1040; businesses may contact us at 800-829-4933.

Can you negotiate garnishment with IRS?

You may qualify for an offer in compromise. An offer in compromise is a statement of permission allowed by the IRS to pay off less debt than you owe. If the IRS recognizes that it is simply unrealistic for you to pay off the full amount, then they might agree to an offer in compromise.

Can the IRS stop garnishing my wages?

The actual notice of garnishment goes directly to your employer, who will notify you that your wages are being garnished. In most cases, getting the IRS to stop garnishing your wages requires the IRS to release the underlying levy.

How do I stop wage garnishment?

The first way to stop wage garnishment is to pay your tax debt in full. The IRS is only garnishing your wages so that it can get the money that you owe. If you send the IRS payment for your tax debt, the IRS won’t have any reason to garnish your wages.

Can you stop IRS garnishment if you file for bankruptcy?

File for bankruptcy to get tax debt discharged. You can stop IRS wage garnishment if you declare bankruptcy. When you file for bankruptcy, you get an automatic stay that stops all collection actions, including garnishment, repossession, and foreclosure. This can result in a big hit to your credit score, so don’t take this option lightly.

What are IRS garnishment rules?

A specific type of levy is the garnishment of your employment wages each week. However, before the IRS starts to take a portion of your salary, there are specific guidelines it must follow. Understanding the IRS garnishment rules may help you prepare for the garnishment or even allow you to challenge and stop it.

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