It happens out of nowhere; you get a notice from the IRS that they're going to start garnishing your wages due to unpaid taxes owed to the government. Sure enough, your next pay stub includes a hefty deduction due to your wage garnishment. What do you do next if you don't have the money to pay off your tax burden? Fortunately, you do have some options for temporarily or even permanently stopping wage garnishments from the IRS.
Work Out a Payment Plan
If you're unable to pay the taxes you owe upfront, you may still be able to end your wage garnishments by working out a payment plan with the IRS. Generally, individuals are eligible to enroll in a payment plan if they owe $50,000 or less in back taxes by filling out an application. From there, you can work on re-paying your taxes in a way that still leaves you with enough money to live your life.
Make Them an Offer
If you disagree with the amount of tax the IRS claims you owe or owe more than the $50,000 required for enrollment in a payment plan, you might actually consider making a counter-offer to the IRS. It might sound crazy, but in cases where the IRS knows you won't be able to feasibly pay off the debt you owe in a reasonable amount of time (or within your lifetime), they may very well accept a compromise on your total owed. Should you decide to go this route, however, it's recommended that you work with a tax lawyer to assist you.
File for Bankruptcy
The above are options for permanently ending your wage garnishment, but if you're looking for temporary relief, there are some other options you may want to consider. One is that of filing for bankruptcy; this will temporarily put a stop to any wage garnishment, but will not necessarily reduce your total amount owed to the government. Still, it can be a viable option for those who are in a difficult financial situation as it is.
Finally, understand that the government can garnish your wages if you owe back taxes, but they must also leave you with a livable wage. Therefore, if you are experiencing serious hardship (for example, you're at risk of becoming homeless or starving) as a result of your wage garnishment, speak with an attorney who can help you plead poverty to the IRS and put a temporary stop to your garnishment.
For more information, contact Horizon Tax Relief or a similar company.