IRS collection procedures
The IRS uses several strategies to collect back taxes including garnishment of wages. They may file a lien to notify creditors that there is a claim on your property and then continue with a levy to seize your holdings, whether it be real estate property, bank accounts or wages. Once the levy has been served, the IRS may keep a portion of each paycheck to pay off back taxes. This is commonly referred to as wage garnishment.
Fortunately, there are strict guidelines the IRS must follow to serve a wage garnishment levy. Your first notice of a tax obligation will be a bill, or notice of tax due. If the debt is not addressed, the second notice is intent to seize property. The last and final notice is intent to levy, which gives CDP appeal rights.
Respond promptly to any notices
It is crucial that you respond to the IRS in the period between receipt of notices and when a garnishment begins. Our team at Len Stauffenger, Esq. is experienced in negotiating back tax assessments. We help you set up a workable payment plan and prevent wage garnishment.
Take advantage of the appeals process
The CAP (Collection Appeals Program) and CDP (Collection Due Process) hearings are designed to give taxpayers a chance to prevent, circumvent or stop the enforcement of levies. The earlier you begin these appeals the better, but our staff is available to help you, regardless of where you stand in the process.
You can request a Collection Due Process hearing up until the date shown on your Final Notice of Intent. At your hearing, the Office of Appeals will determine if your tax lien or levy is to be upheld. You then have 30 days to request a further appeal to the U.S. Tax Court.
The Collection Appeals Program permits you to appeal a proposed tax lien, levy, seizure, or rejection of an installment agreement before and after notices are filed. However, the decision of the hearing is binding and may not be appealed to a higher tax court. Both the CAP and CDP freeze any collection activity on the part of the IRS until the final decision has been made.
Discuss solutions with our team
Once the levy process has been temporarily halted, we discuss possible solutions with you. We look for any extenuating circumstances that may influence your case, and we verify that the required guidelines have been followed. In short, we do everything in our power to protect your rights as a taxpayer and a citizen.
Garnishment releases are possible
If garnishments have begun, there are still opportunities to receive a release. The IRS is required to release a garnishment of wages if any of the following situations occur:
- Collection period expired
- Agreement to pay installments
- Economic hardship
- IRS didn’t give 30 days’ notice
Knowledgeable representation is key
Call or contact Len Stauffenger, Esq. today for a free IRS tax consultation. We have represented many taxpayers in wage garnishment cases and our knowledge and experience in IRS tax matters help us negotiate competently on your behalf.