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IRS Garnished Wages? What is wage garnishment? Back tax CPA accountant explains how to prevent it

CPA answers what is wage garnishment

Garnished wages? You might have a few moves left. (910) 399-2705.

Garnished wages are one form of an IRS tax levy. IRS wage garnishment usually isn’t a surprise. They send out multiple advance warnings, like Notice CP 501, that culminate in an IRS tax lien. Finally, the IRS attaches (i.e. levies) to the assets listed in the tax lien. I’ll share some tips I’ve learned as a CPA accountant who deals with preventing or stopping wage garnishment, focusing on back taxes.

What is wage garnishment?

The IRS or Court forces your employer to deduct funds from your paycheck and send it to a creditor. Every state has its own garnishment laws. Garnished wages stop when the back tax or other debt is paid.

Find your state’s specific tax laws here with this handy IRS guide.

Consequences of wage garnishment:

  • It’s embarrassing.
  • It’s additional hassle for your employer and sometimes folks get fired for it.
  • Your cash flow decreases.
  • IRS tax liens show up on credit reports. No more credit and potential employers pass you by.

Reasons for garnished wages:

  • Back taxes.
  • Child support.
  • Defaulted student loans.

How to prevent wage garnishment from back taxes

  • Make sure the IRS is correct.  Hey, they can make mistakes too.
  • Don’t procrastinate. Typically the IRS sends notices for months. Don’t waste that time.
  • Back tax CPA accountants can sometimes delay wage garnishment. The IRS recognizes that a tax professional needs time to work out your case.
  • If you haven’t filed back tax returns, do so immediately. This almost always decreases the tax and penalties you owe.

“I’ve seen cases of imminent wage garnishment turn into refunds. Strange but true.”
– Gary Bode, CPA accountant

  • I think most CPAs automatically check to see if you’re a candidate for an Offer in Compromise.
  • You can enter into an Installment Agreement with the IRS via Form 9465.

I’m a back tax CPA that deals with IRS levies including garnished wages. I have a virtual office that provides nationwide service. (910) 399-2705.


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