One of the easiest ways the IRS can collect a sizable back tax debt is to put a levy on your wages, or “garnish your salary,” as most people call this procedure. If you are a salaried worker, the IRS simply goes to your employer and demands to deduct a certain percentage from your weekly or bi-weekly paycheck before it's issued to you. If you have been regularly ignoring the notices sent to you by the IRS, you may be surprised one Friday to find that your paycheck is 25 percent lighter than it should be. At that point, you need to hire an experienced Oklahoma tax attorney to rectify the situation.
The IRS Can't Simply Garnish Your Wages Out of the Blue
Despite what many people think, the IRS can't go directly from point A (figuring out that you owe a tax debt) to point B (garnishing your salary). The government has to follow a strict procedure, which includes:
- Notifying you in writing about the amount of money you owe
- Waiting a set period of time (usually 30 days) for you to pay the assessed bill
- Sending you a final notice of “intent to levy,” advising you of a right to a hearing
- Waiting another 30 days until beginning to garnish your salary.
Needless to say, if you're the type of person who immediately throws any envelopes marked “IRS” into the trash without opening them, you may miss a valuable opportunity to hire a tax lawyer and negotiate your way out of a wage levy. In that case, by the time your salary garnishment is over, you will probably have paid more money to the IRS than you could have negotiated under an Offer in Compromise.
Don't Wait Until a Salary Garnishment to Deal with the IRS
Salary garnishments are extremely unpleasant, both for you and your employer (which has better things to do than deal with the IRS). If you are being threatened with salary garnishment by the IRS, contact the Oklahoma tax lawyer experts at Travis W. Watkins, PC (800-721-7054) for a free consultation. We will sit you down to discuss your alternatives, which may include making an Offer in Compromise to reduce the size of your tax bill.