Greenville Wage Garnishments Attorneys
We Can Help You Stop Tax Levies
Your wages could be garnished if you owe money to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or South Carolina Department of Revenue. This means that the government could take a portion of your paycheck until your tax debt is satisfied. Wage garnishments are a terrible consequence of tax liability and can send taxpayers deeper into debt, but they are not an inevitable outcome.
Our Greenville wage garnishments lawyers at Southeastern Tax Advocates can help you prevent and stop all types of tax levies. Our experienced team includes a lawyer board certified in tax law. We can help you explore and implement tax debt relief strategies that will avoid damaging collections actions. By negotiating directly with the IRS or SC Department of Revenue on your behalf, our firm can help create a plan that will help you defeat debt and protect your paycheck.
How Do Wage Garnishments Work?
When your wages are garnished, you lose a portion of your compensation to a creditor and the funds are used to satisfy a delinquent debt. Wage garnishments can continue until the underlying debt is paid off in full. For especially large debts that continue to accrue interest, that means a wage garnishment can continue for months or even years if no action is taken.
Most creditors have a limited ability to garnish your wages if you fail to pay a debt. However, non-government creditors must obtain a judgment or permission from a court to carry out a wage garnishment.
The IRS and SC Department of Revenue are unique in that they do not need judgments to garnish your wages. They can generally do so automatically. However, you should receive plenty of notice before any wage garnishment takes effect.
You should receive a Notice and Demand for Payment once the IRS or SC Department of Revenue realizes you owe them money. This tax bill will explain what you owe and the deadline for full payment. If you are unable to pay in full by the prescribed date, you are in danger of being subject to wage garnishments and other damaging collection actions.
What Should You Do if You Receive a Notice and Demand for Payment?
If you receive a Notice and Demand for Payment and know you cannot pay, do not hesitate to contact our Greenville wage garnishment attorneys. We can work with you to negotiate a payment plan with the relevant tax authority and do everything possible to prevent a wage garnishment from ever taking effect.
Final Notice of Intent to Levy and Notice of Your Right to a Hearing
If you do not pay your tax debt or negotiate with the IRS or SC Department of Revenue, you should eventually receive a Final Notice of Intent to Levy and Notice of Your Right to a Hearing at least 30 days before the levy takes effect. The document will indicate what assets may be levied. This is your very last opportunity to speak to legal professionals and stop the garnishment from starting.
How Much of Your Wages Can Be Garnished by the IRS?
Federal and state laws limit how much non-government creditors can garnish your paycheck. The IRS, conversely, is only required to leave a certain amount of money behind when garnishing your paycheck.
The amount the IRS can take from you depends on:
- How you file your taxes
- How many dependents you have
- Whether you are single or married
- And how many exemptions you claim
For example, married individuals filing jointly with their spouses and taxpayers with dependents will be able to retain more of their paycheck. Heads of households also get to keep more.
The bottom line, however, is that the IRS can garnish a significant percentage of your paycheck than other creditors. In theory, you will only be left with enough to pay for basic necessities. In most cases, garnishing will continue until your tax debt is satisfied.
The good news is you will have ample time to prepare for and prevent an IRS wage garnishment. The IRS tends to only resort to garnishments (and other levies) if it sees no other means of collecting. There are numerous strategies that can be leveraged to address tax debt and avoid serious consequences.
Our Greenville wage garnishments lawyers can help you stop or prevent levies through:
- Offers in Compromise. If you have little to no means of meaningfully overcoming your tax debt, the IRS may be willing to “settle” your obligations for less than what you currently owe.
- Penalty Abatements. If you had “reasonable cause” for filing or paying late, the IRS or SC Department of Revenue may be willing to forgive the associated penalties and interest on those penalties. Valid “reasonable causes” include incapacitation, death, natural disasters, and inaccessibility of records.
- Installment Agreements. The IRS may also be amenable to a multi-year repayment plan. Interest will continue to accumulate, but any balance remaining after the IRS’s 10-year collection deadline must be written off by the IRS.
- Partial Payment Installment Agreements. The IRS will sometimes facilitate installment agreements even if you cannot afford to make sufficient payments. In a partial payment installment agreement, the size of your monthly payment is tied to what the IRS determines you can afford.
When you engage with the IRS and attempt to find a solution, the agency will generally freeze any imminent or ongoing collection efforts. In other words, any active wage garnishments will most likely stop.
If one was poised to take effect it will typically be halted. As long as you follow the terms of the plan you agree to, whether it be an installment agreement or an offer in compromise, you should be safe from wage garnishments.
Our experienced team at Southeastern Tax Advocates can quickly act to prevent or stop wage garnishments and other levies. We are familiar with the nuances of the IRS and SC Department of Revenue and can move quickly to minimize the negative consequences of these damaging collection actions.
Our attorneys will work closely with you when negotiating with government agencies to create a plan that will help you overcome your tax debt.
 Southeastern Tax Advocates is a subsidiary of Merline & Meacham, P.A. All client cases will be handled by an attorney of Merline & Meacham, P.A. who primarily practices in one of our offices at 812 East North Street, Greenville, SC 29601 or 723 Laurel Street, Columbia, SC 29201.
Any result the law firm may have achieved on behalf of clients in one matter does not necessarily indicate similar results can be obtained for other clients.
“I have known and worked with Verne McGough, for years. As a fellow attorney but in a different field of practice, he is the ONLY tax attorney to whom I will refer anyone. He is organized, prompt, and extremely knowledgeable in his field.”- Eydie T. (Attorney, Not a Client)
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