The IRS is the only collections authority that can take significant actions that will make it hard for you to live.  One such situation is when they start to garnish your paychecks. A wage garnishment is one of the most-feared IRS collections tactics, and rightly so. Your employer is legally obligated to implement it.  If they don’t, they can face stiff penalties themselves.

The bright side in these situations is that an IRS wage garnishment does NOT follow you to another job. So, if you have a wage levy in place and decide to quit your job in order to get out of it, we would encourage you to seek employment to get back on your feet. The IRS won’t know where to send another wage levy to an employer until some sort of tax return information gets filed. For example, when your employer issues you a W-2 after the end of the year, they are required to file a copy of it with the IRS.  When this happens the IRS will then know where you work and may file a new wage levy at your new employer.

So, if an IRS wage levy or wage garnishment is creating a significant economic hardship for you, you are encouraged to do one of two things. One is to seek professional tax representation to assist you in resolving the matter. If your tax situation is fairly complex, you’re going to want to hire professional tax representation to resolve your situation. If your tax situation is otherwise simple, or you simply cannot afford to hire professional tax relief assistance, then by all means contact your Local Taxpayer Advocate.

There is a Local Taxpayer Advocate (LTA) office in all 50 states and very large cities will have a dedicated office (ex. Cleveland and Cincinnati OH). Contact these folks and tell them your situation; it’s their job to help out folks such as yourself, and it’s a service already paid for by your tax dollars (nice how that works, right?). The nice thing about the Taxpayer Advocate service is that they are an independent arm of the IRS, and they function OUTSIDE of the normal bureaucracy of that agency. In fact, the Taxpayer Advocate service reports directly to Congress, NOT to the Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service.

If you’re seeking assistance from the LTA, you will most likely want to file the following form, which is IRS Form 911, Request for Taxpayer Advocate Assistance. Your LTA can provide you with this form.

So, again, don’t let an IRS wage garnishment make you think that you can’t go get a job. The wage levy from your previous job does NOT automatically follow you over. Also, either seek professional tax resolution assistance from a reputable firm, or contact your local Taxpayer Advocate office to get help.

As always, ignoring your IRS problem does NOT make it go away. It is always best to confront the problem head on, get it resolved, and then move on with your life.  If you would like us to help you with your situation, please give us a call at 773.239.8850.