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5 Ways You Can Use to Stop IRS Garnishment

how to stop irs wage garnishment

The IRS can be quite resourceful when it comes to collecting what they are owed. This allows them to even access and retrieve money from your salary to settle your tax debt.  When it gets to this point one can feel confused and even financially invaded but this is only a last resort of the IRS. This is after they have exhausted other approaches, which include sending several letters with no satisfactory response from the taxpayer.  Accessing your paycheck and retrieving an amount from your salary to settle your owed taxes is what IRS garnishment is all about.

This reclamation of one’s wages could extend to up to 70 percent but it can be avoided. The easiest way to avoid IRS garnishment is through paying your taxes diligently and on time. But what happens when you have already crossed that line? The following are five ways to stop IRS garnishment so that you are not left with barely anything to survive on due to tax debts.

        Apply for an Installment Agreement

Installment agreements are among the most suitable options if you are having trouble paying your taxes. This is because they enable you, the taxpayer in debt, to chip away your debt to the IRS while avoiding garnishment. Overtime, it leads to the clearance of the tax debt and any repercussions that the IRS would impose on you as a result. Also, you will not have more than fifty percent of your income being deducted without your consent.

To enable an installment agreement with the IRS, you need to work with your tax attorney and map out a payment plan. This payment plan should aim to clear your tax debt as well as leave you with enough to sustain your lifestyle. The plan also needs to be agreeable to both parties which includes the IRS and you the indebted taxpayer. In most cases, the payment plan is spread over a specified period of time which is paid on a monthly basis until it is fully cleared. Once the installment agreement has been established you do not have to worry about the IRS reaching out for the dollars in your bank account every month or so.

        Plead Poverty and Prove it

This solution requires an extensive convincing ability. As the taxpayer indebted to the IRS and at risk of losing a significant amount of your income to the IRS as a consequence, you can convince them that by doing so you will experience destitution. This halts the wage garnishment process by the IRS for a while which is until your financial situation is enhanced or reinstated. You will need evidence to prove actual financial hardship in the event that the IRS garnishment is instituted. The best way to make your case convincing is to show our inability to cater for basic living expenses if subjected to wage garnishment. As much as this option is temporary and does not actually solve the issue, it is quite useful in helping you reorganize your monetary issues by seeking other financial sources and options.

Professional assistance of a tax attorney is required and recommended in this procedure as well. While filing a hardship status, you need to prove beyond reasonable doubt that indeed you are experiencing financial difficulties. A tax attorney is well versed with the knowledge on how to make a convincing approach since they understand the tenets of this field.

        Resign from Work

Quitting your job is another viable option in stopping IRS garnishment. This is due to the procedure used by the IRS to facilitate garnishment. To commence garnishment on an indebted taxpayer, the IRS approaches your employer with a submitted request which they cannot say ‘no’ to; unless they want to become accountable for your debt.

By quitting your job you are denying the IRS access to your account from which they seize part of your income. The IRS therefore has to get new garnishment which will take them a roughly a couple of months. Leaving your job renders garnishment invalid, which protects your income until the IRS catches up with you again.

This particular approach can be manipulated in different ways to serve the same purpose with different levels of efficiency. You can use this approach by temporarily quitting your job, after which your employer declares to the IRS that you no longer work for them thus invalidating their garnishment. Then getting back to work later which will require the IRS several more months to acquire your wage garnishment. Another trick is reducing your income to a standard considered by the IRS as basic living by working part time for instance.

        Seek a Compromise

This option allows you to pay the IRS an amount less than the tax debt you owe. To do so, you have to apply for the Offer in Compromise program known as OIC. In the application process of the OIC, you need to provide information that shows satisfactory meeting of certain guidelines as required by the IRS.

Based on these guidelines not everyone who applies for the OIC actually qualifies. It is however, still advisable to use this option since immediately your OIC proposal is submitted the IRS stops garnishment. This gives you a better negotiation position between you and the IRS which you can improve on by seeking other options to pay up. An experienced tax attorney would come in handy in this case, which will enhance the chances of having your OIC application approved. A tax attorney will also be quite helpful in garnishment negotiations.

        Seek Professional Legal Assistance

The professional to seek in this case is an experienced tax attorney. An experienced tax attorney is able to assess your financial situation and determine which option is the best for you. A competent tax attorney can therefore help alleviate, avoid or stop wage garnishment by the IRS altogether. Their knowledge and skills in this area are quite utile in helping you reduce your tax debt efficiently and ultimately get the finest tax debt relief. Also as your representative in this matters the tax attorney helps you through the legal process and even alleviates harassment from the IRS.


Wage garnishment is definitely as bad as it sounds and you should do everything you can to stop it. With the help of a qualified tax defense attorney by your side, you have no reason to worry about the IRS. The 5 ways highlighted above can help you seek temporary reprieve as you look for ways to clear your owed taxes altogether.

Contact an Attorney

If you are facing wage garnishment, or just have tax qs in general…contact the experienced, competent attorneys at Ayar Law and get free, no-obligation tax advice. 800.571.7175


Venar Ayar, Esq.

Venar Ayar, Esq.

Attorney-at-Law, Master of Laws in Taxation
Principal and founder, Ayar Law

Venar is an award-winning tax attorney ranked as a Top Lawyer in the field of Tax Law. Mr. Ayar has a Master of Laws in Taxation – the highest degree available in tax, held by only a small number of the country’s attorneys.