An Overview of IRS Wage Garnishment Laws

IRS Wage Garnishment with The Law Offices of Nick Nemeth

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) serves almost two million wage garnishment notices every year. The President’s 2016 Fiscal Year Budget announced that the federal government had collected more than $55 million in wage garnishments in 2014. In cases of wage garnishments, the court issues an order requiring the employer of a tax defaulter to withhold a certain amount of the defaulter’s wage and give it to the person or institution to whom they owe money, which is to be continued until the debt is paid in full. In this blog post, we look at certain rules and procedures governing wage garnishment and what the defendants can do to find their way out of the problem.


The wage garnishment law is applicable in all 50 states of the US, at both federal and state levels. While in most cases, a writ of garnishment is required to initiate a garnishment proceeding; the IRS has the right to garnish a debtor’s wage for unpaid taxes even without a court’s intervention. Wage garnishment is governed by Title-III of the Consumer Credit Protection Act (CCPA) that applies to everyone with a taxable income. On an average, the IRS garnishes 70 percent or more of defaulters’ wages.

What Happens in Wage Garnishment?

When a debtor’s employer receives a garnishment order, they notify the debtor whose wage is to be garnished and send the garnished amount to the IRS. The employer is required to adhere to the garnishment law, even as they provide information to the debtor on how the garnishment can be disputed under the law. Any questions or confusion pertaining to the tax wage levy process should be handled by a qualified IRS tax attorney with an in-depth knowledge of the laws and provisions related to wage garnishment.

What to Do in Cases of Wage Garnishment?

Preventing a wage garnishment through a negotiation with the creditor is far easier than taking remedial measures after the damage is done. If garnishment has already been served, the debtor has the following options:

  1. Obtain an IRS Wage Garnishment Release by paying the taxes owed.
  2. Present documented evidence in the court to prove that the garnishment is preventing them from paying for their basic living expenses. The court decides whether to reduce the garnished amount, remove it completely, or leave it as it is.
  3. Offer in Compromise (OIC) is another available option to address wage garnishment, wherein the debtor settles their tax debt with the IRS for less than the amount owed.

Need Professional Help? Consult a Tax Attorney!

When it comes to unpaid taxes, the IRS means business. Having said that, both the IRS and lenders do not want to resort to wage garnishment as this tax collection method costs time and money to both the parties. They prefer to make an alternative arrangement to resolve the tax issue. If you are facing an IRS garnishment and need professional assistance, look no further than the The Law Offices of Nick Nemeth. Our experienced tax lawyers are dedicated to helping individuals and businesses with all types of IRS tax problems including wage garnishment. To schedule an appointment, write to us at or call (972) 627-4580.