Preventing an IRS Levy or Garnishment or Helping to Have them Removed or Altered
What is an IRS levy or garnishment and how does a U.S. taxpayer prevent them from happening? Levies and garnishments are two IRS collection strategies that are employed to help collect back tax debts. The IRS has immense powers to seize your assets, attach your income, and withhold access to your own money in order to collect back tax debt. If you owe the IRS any amount for back taxes, it is important to seek immediate help from an experienced tax attorney who can protect you from the IRS and work to accomplish the best possible outcome in your case.
What is a Levy or Garnishment?
An IRS levy is the seizure of your property, assets, or bank accounts to pay a tax debt to the IRS. The IRS will seize and sell your house, real estate, investments, car, boat, collection, and any asset that can be sold to retire your debt. The IRS can and will place a levy against your bank account. The levy provides the IRS with the right to take all the money in your account and any future money that may come into the associated account. This applies to all sorts of bank and investment accounts and income including:
• Retirement Account(s)
• Professional Licenses
• Business Accounts Receivable
• Rental Income
• Cash Value of Life Insurance
If there is not enough in these accounts, and if a single paycheck is not enough to satisfy your debt to the IRS, the agency can place a levy against your wages which is known as a “garnishment.”
An IRS garnishment is a levy against your wages that withholds a percentage of every paycheck, commission or dividend payment until your tax debt is paid in full. IRS garnishments are not limited to the amounts established by federal and state laws relating to normal creditors, and the IRS can garnish most of your check leaving you little to live on. There are national guidelines that establish the amount of your income that is set aside for living expenses. California is one of the most expensive places to live, and the amount established in the federal guidelines is almost never enough to cover basic living expenses.
Protect Yourself from the IRS and Take Action if You Receive a “Notice of Intent to Levy”
The process of a levy or garnishment will begin with a formal letter from the IRS which is a “Final Notice of Intent to Levy.” This letter provides 30 days for you to respond or the IRS will seize your assets and garnish your wages. It is important to act immediately and contact Allen Barron for a free and substantive consultation at 866-631-3470. There are a lot of options we can employ to prevent an IRS levy or garnishment, or to help reduce the amount the IRS will take. The important key for you is simple: take action. Call us immediately.
You have rights as a U.S. taxpayer, and we can stand up to the IRS and work to find alternatives to the extreme collection tactics of a levy, garnishment, or lien. It may be possible to make an “Offer in Compromise” or to qualify for a streamlined program that will allow you to retire the debt over time. We will review your circumstances and develop options that will meet with IRS approval. These options provide additional time to repay the debt as well as additional breathing room and access to your financial resources. The “attorney-client privilege” protects our conversations and allows us to work candidly and effectively to understand all that has happened, and to identify and implement the best solution that will allow you to fulfill your obligations to the IRS and move forward with your life.