24/7 call for a free consultation 212-300-5196




When you’re facing a federal issue, you need an attorney whose going to be available 24/7 to help you get the results and outcome you need. The value of working with the Spodek Law Group is that we treat each and every client like a member of our family.

How to Stop IRS Wage Garnishment for Back Taxes

How to Stop IRS Wage Garnishment for Back Taxes

Getting your wages garnished by the IRS for back taxes can be a scary situation. One day you get your paycheck and notice that a big chunk of it is missing – the IRS took it! This can throw your finances into chaos if you were counting on that money to pay your bills. But don’t panic – there are ways to stop the garnishment and get your full paycheck back.

First off, why is the IRS garnishing your wages in the first place? This happens when you owe back taxes and haven’t set up a payment plan with the IRS. They will send you notices letting you know a garnishment is coming, but if you ignore the notices, eventually they will just start taking the money.

So how much can they take? Typically they will take about 25% of your disposable income, which is your total income minus deductions for federal, state, and local taxes. But if your tax debt is for restitution on a criminal case, they can take up to 100%! That’s right – your whole paycheck. Yikes!

Ok, let’s get into how you can stop the wage garnishment and start getting your full paychecks again…

1. Set Up an Installment Agreement

One of the easiest ways to stop a wage garnishment is to set up an installment agreement with the IRS. This allows you to pay off your tax debt in monthly payments over time. As long as you stick to the payment schedule, the IRS will stop garnishing your wages.

You can apply for an installment agreement yourself through the IRS Online Payment Agreement system. Or you can have a tax professional like a CPA or tax attorney set it up for you. They will make sure you get the most beneficial agreement possible.

The IRS will look at your income, expenses, and amount owed and work with you to come up with a monthly payment amount that works for your budget. Just be sure to make those payments on time every month or the wage garnishment could start back up!

Christine Twomey
Christine Twomey
Just had my Divorce case settled 2 months ago after having a horrible experience with another firm. I couldn’t be happier with Claire Banks and Elizabeth Garvey with their outstanding professionalism in doing so with Spodek Law Group. Any time I needed questions answered they were always prompt in doing so with all my uncertainties after 30 yrs of marriage.I feel from the bottom of my heart you will NOT be disappointed with either one. Thanks a million.
Brendan huisman
Brendan huisman
Alex Zhik contacted me almost immediately when I reached out to Spodek for a consultation and was able to effectively communicate the path forward/consequences of my legal issue. I immediately agreed to hire Alex for his services and did not regret my choice. He was able to cover my case in court (with 1 day notice) and not only was he able to push my case down, he carefully negotiated a dismissal of the charge altogether. I highly recommend Spodek, and more specifically, Alex Zhik for all of your legal issues. Thanks guys!
Guerline Menard
Guerline Menard
Thanks again Spodek law firm, particularly Esq Claire Banks who stood right there with us up to the finish line. Attached photos taken right outside of the court building and the smile on our faces represented victory, a breath of fresh air and satisfaction. We are very happy that this is over and we can move on with our lives. Thanks Spodek law 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙌🏼❤️
Keisha Parris
Keisha Parris
Believe every single review here about Alex Z!! From our initial consultation, it was evident that Alex possessed a profound understanding of criminal law and a fierce dedication to his clients rights. Throughout the entirety of my case, Alex exhibited unparalleled professionalism and unwavering commitment. What sets Alex apart is not only his legal expertise but also his genuine compassion for his clients. He took the time to thoroughly explain my case, alleviating any concerns I had along the way. His exact words were “I’m not worried about it”. His unwavering support and guidance were invaluable throughout the entire process. I am immensely grateful for Alex's exceptional legal representation and wholeheartedly recommend his services to anyone in need of a skilled criminal defense attorney. Alex Z is not just a lawyer; he is a beacon of hope for those navigating the complexities of the legal system. If you find yourself in need of a dedicated and competent legal advocate, look no further than Alex Z.
Taïko Beauty
Taïko Beauty
I don’t know where to start, I can write a novel about this firm, but one thing I will say is that having my best interest was their main priority since the beginning of my case which was back in Winter 2019. Miss Claire Banks, one of the best Attorneys in the firm represented me very well and was very professional, respectful, and truthful. Not once did she leave me in the dark, in fact she presented all options and routes that could possibly be considered for my case and she reinsured me that no matter what I decided to do, her and the team will have my back and that’s exactly what happened. Not only will I be liberated from this case, also, I will enjoy my freedom and continue to be a mother to my first born son and will have no restrictions with accomplishing my goals in life. Now that’s what I call victory!! I thank the Lord, My mother, Claire, and the Spodek team for standing by me and fighting with me. Words can’t describe how grateful I am to have the opportunity to work with this team. I’m very satisfied, very pleased with their performance, their hard work, and their diligence. Thank you team!
Anthony Williams
Anthony Williams
Hey, how you guys doing? Good afternoon my name is Anthony Williams I just want to give a great shout out to the team of. Spodek law group. It is such a honor to use them and to use their assistance through this whole case from start to finish. They did everything that they said they was gonna do and if it ever comes down to it, if I ever have to use them again, hands-down they will be the first law office at the top of my list, thank you guys so much. It was a pleasure having you guys by my side so if you guys ever need them, do not hesitate to pick up the phone and give them a call.
Loveth Okpedo
Loveth Okpedo
Very professional, very transparent, over all a great experience
Bee L
Bee L
Amazing experience with Spodek! Very professional lawyers who take your case seriously. They treated me with respect, were always available, and answered any and all questions. They were able to help me very successfully and removed a huge stress. Highly recommend.
divesh patel
divesh patel
I can't recommend Alex Zhik and Spodek Law Firm highly enough for their exceptional legal representation and personal mentorship. From the moment I engaged their services in October 2022, Alex took the time to understand my case thoroughly and provided guidance every step of the way. Alex's dedication to my case went above and beyond my expectations. His expertise, attention to detail, and commitment to achieving the best possible outcome were evident throughout the entire process. He took the time to mentor me, ensuring I understood the legal complexities involved to make informed decisions. Alex is the kind of guy you would want to have a beer with and has made a meaningful impact on me. I also want to acknowledge Todd Spodek, the leader of the firm, who played a crucial role in my case. His leadership and support bolstered the efforts of Alex, and his involvement highlighted the firm's commitment to excellence. Thanks to Alex Zhik and Todd Spodek, I achieved the outcome I desired, and I am incredibly grateful for their professionalism, expertise, and genuine care. If you're in need of legal representation, look no further than this outstanding team.

2. Apply for Currently Not Collectible Status

If you truly cannot afford to make payments on your tax debt, you may be able to get into “currently not collectible” status with the IRS. This means they agree that you are not in a financial position to make payments right now.

To qualify, you’ll need to fill out a detailed Form 433-F Collection Information Statement and provide documentation of your income, expenses, assets, and liabilities. The IRS will review it and make a determination if your financial situation warrants putting a hold on collections.

This status does not make the debt go away. Interest and penalties will continue growing during this time. But it will stop IRS collection actions like wage garnishments and bank levies. It’s a temporary fix but can provide some much-needed relief.

3. Request an Offer in Compromise

With an offer in compromise, you can settle your tax debt with the IRS for less than the full amount you owe. The IRS will consider accepting an offer for a few reasons:

  • Doubt as to liability – You have a legitimate reason to doubt you actually owe the amount.
  • Doubt as to collectibility – You don’t have the income, assets or means to pay the full debt.
  • Effective tax administration – There are exceptional circumstances causing the full payment to be unfair or inequitable.

You’ll need to fill out detailed financial information and provide documentation just like with currently not collectible status. The IRS will determine if you qualify for an offer and for how much they are willing to settle.

If your offer is accepted, you’ll have to pay that settlement amount according to the terms and timeline in your offer agreement. But it can be much less than the full tax debt. And the wage garnishment will stop as soon as your offer is accepted.

4. Prove Financial Hardship

If a wage garnishment is going to cause serious financial difficulty, you may be able to prove hardship and get the IRS to stop garnishing your wages. This is not an easy thing to do though.

You’ll need to provide very detailed information and documentation about your financial situation – income, expenses, assets, liabilities, etc. And you’ll have to explain specifically how the garnishment would impact your ability to pay necessary living expenses.

The IRS will review the information and make a determination if the garnishment should be stopped. Proving hardship can be difficult, so it’s best to work with a tax professional on this.

5. File Bankruptcy

Filing for bankruptcy can sometimes stop IRS wage garnishments, but not always. If you file Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, collection actions like garnishments may be stopped temporarily while the bankruptcy is processed.

Whether the tax debt is ultimately discharged, or wiped away, will depend on the chapter you file, when the tax was assessed, and if it meets the qualifications for discharge in bankruptcy. So speak to a bankruptcy attorney to understand if this is a viable option in your situation.

6. Appeal the Tax Liability

If you believe the IRS tax assessment that led to the garnishment is inaccurate, you do have the right to appeal. You can file an appeal on your own or with help from a tax professional.

The appeals process can take some time and the wage garnishment will likely continue during the review. But if your appeal is successful and the tax liability is reduced or eliminated, then the garnishment should stop.

7. Pay Off the Tax Debt

The simplest way to stop IRS wage garnishment is to pay off the tax debt in full. Easier said than done, of course! But if you can come up with the money from savings, borrowing from retirement accounts, family loans, etc – paying off the balance will require the IRS to stop garnishing your wages.

You may also be able to stop the garnishment by paying down a large portion of the tax debt. If you can pay off at least 85% of what you owe, you may be able to get the IRS to stop garnishing your wages while you come up with the remaining balance.

Act Quickly to Stop Wage Garnishment

Dealing with IRS wage garnishment is stressful. But take a deep breath and know there are options. The fastest way to stop it is communicating with the IRS and setting up an installment agreement or other payment solution.

You may also qualify to put your account on hold with currently not collectible status. Or explore settling for less than you owe with an offer in compromise. Proving financial hardship can work but is tough.

Bankruptcy, appealing the liability, or paying off the debt are last resorts. But the main thing is acting quickly once you get those notices from the IRS. The sooner you can get a plan in place, the sooner you can get your full paycheck back!

Need help dealing with IRS wage garnishment? Contact a tax relief professional. They have experience navigating IRS processes and policies. They can walk you through all the options to find the best solution for your situation. Get your hard-earned money back in your own pocket where it belongs!


9 Ways to Stop an IRS Wage Garnishment – The W Tax Group
6 Ways to Stop IRS Wage Garnishment | LendEDU
What if a levy on my wages is causing a hardship? | Internal Revenue Service
How Do I Get a Levy Released? | Internal Revenue Service
How to Stop IRS Wage Garnishment – FindLaw
Can you stop an IRS wage garnishment? | 7 Methods How – TaxAudit

Schedule Your Consultation Now