Four Situations Where the IRS Cannot Take Your Wages, Even If You Owe Unpaid Taxes

When you owe the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) money for back taxes, the agency has significant power at its disposal to attempt to collect the debt. You may find that your property is levied or seized—including your family’s home in Tulsa, your car, and your bank accounts. In addition to these actions, the IRS can also garnish your wages. Wage garnishment is a specific type of levy wherein the IRS takes a portion of your weekly wages directly from your place of employment. When this happens, you may suddenly find that it is very difficult to support yourself and your family.

When Wage Garnishment Must Stop

Fortunately, there are certain circumstances where the IRS is required to cease wage garnishment. These circumstances, however, are limited. Normally, wage garnishment can continue until your debt is paid in full, but the IRS must stop garnishing the wages if any of the following occurs:

  1. The IRS discovers that the time period for collecting the tax has expired before it served you with the garnishment notice.
  2. The IRS did not provide you with a full 30 days to respond to the notice.
  3. You declare bankruptcy.
  4. The IRS is considering an offer in compromise or a request for an installment plan when an appeal is in process.


Unless one of these situations applies to your particular case, you will have to reach an alternative solution with the IRS or pay the debt in full in order for your wage garnishment to cease. Navigating this process is stressful and complicated and requires the guidance of an experienced professional. Fortunately, you do not have to go it alone—we are here to help! We encourage you to contact us for a complimentary consultation. There are several easy ways to reach us: Call our toll free number, fill out our online contact form, or start a live chat with us right now.

Travis Watkins
Senior Tax Attorney