“Can the IRS garnish my wages?” “Can I stop a garnishment?” “Will filing for bankruptcy stop wage garnishment?” These are all very important questions to anybody who owes the IRS money, and since 43 states in America impose an income tax on individuals, this may be more common than you think. Owing money to the IRS is a difficult situation in which to be. Owing money to the IRS is different than being in debt to other creditors, and the IRS can levy your property in many ways to make sure the debt is satisfied. Here is some information about IRS tax debt and levies to help you through this situation, and make sure you can answer the question “can I stop a garnishment?”
Like most creditors, the IRS has a right to collect any debts owed. They can levy most property that you own. This means that they may seize and sell any real or personal property of yours in order to satisfy the debt. This includes property that you own such as a car, boat, or your house, or property that is held by somebody else such as wages, retirement accounts, bank accounts, etc. And, unlike most creditors, the IRS can levy your property and garnish your wages without first getting a judgment against you.
However, the IRS is bound by the constitution to provide you with notice of the coming levy, as well as give you an opportunity to be heard. The IRS will usually only levy after three criteria are met. First, they will send a Notice and Demand for Payment. Second, you must neglect this notice or refuse to pay the tax. And third, they will send you a Final Notice of Intent to Levy and Notice of Your Right to A Hearing. Only after these three things happen will the IRS levy your property.
But after all of these criteria are met, the IRS can certainly demand of your employer that a portion of your wages be sent directly to the IRS in order to satisfy your debt. Once this happens, you will probably be wondering “How can I stop a garnishment?” or if it is even possible to stop a garnishment. Luckily, wage garnishment is usually used only as a last resort. The IRS has several repayment options for those who owe back taxes.
But you’re probably still asking “Can I stop a garnishment?” If there is truly no way for you to repay the debt, then filing bankruptcy may be an option for you. Filing for bankruptcy will generally stop wage garnishment. When you file for bankruptcy, an automatic stay will go into effect and stop most collection activities. If your tax debt is included in the bankruptcy discharge, then the creditor (in this case the IRS) cannot resume the garnishment in order to satisfy the debt after bankruptcy has ended.
So, hopefully, the question of “Can I stop a garnishment?” has been answered for you, and you are more prepared to repay your debt to the IRS before your wages begin to get garnished in the first place.
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