Filling out tax documents with a calculator

Stop IRS Wage Levies & Garnishments

Robert J. Adams and Associates May 26, 2021

The IRS is the most powerful collection agency in the United States. Under certain conditions, it can Levy (garnish) your wages. The IRS does not need to sue you nor get a judgment.

The IRS can levy after four (4) requirements:

  • The IRS assessed the tax and sent you a Notice and Demand (a tax bill);

  • You have not paid the tax;

  • The IRS sent you a Notice of its Intent to levy at least 30 days before the levy;

  • The IRS has sent notice: they may contact Third Parties about collecting your back tax (your bank, etc.).


How Much Will the Irs Take from My Wages?

Twenty-Five (25%) percent of your disposable earnings. How much is that? Your Gross pay less federal and state income tax, Social Security tax, and Medicare tax. You get credit for medical insurance, child support payments, and 401k deductions.


An example is a Single Parent with two (2) children who file as head of household who makes $1,000 per week. The IRS takes $475.97, leaving the person with only $524.03. An IRS Wage levy can cripple you. How will you pay your rent or mortgage or your car payment? You still have your everyday living expenses.

What About Tax Liens and Bank Levies?

If the IRS is garnishing my wages can it still place liens on my property? The answer is “YES”. The IRS can grab your bank account. It can file liens on your house and all your personal property.

How Do I Get a Levy Lifted?

  • Pay your tax bill (you likely don’t have the resources to do so).

  • Apply for a short-term or long-term payment plan to repay your back taxes.

  • Ask for an “Offer in Compromise.” If your request granted, the IRS may allow you to settle your tax debt by paying less than the total amount owed.

  • File an appeal with the IRS Office of Appeals to get the tax authorities to review your notice of a levy.

  • File for Chapter 13 bankruptcy

Filing for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Filing for Chapter 13 puts an immediate stop to the levy. You get your paycheck back. Chapter 13 plans allow you to:

  • Repay your taxes (as well as other debts) up to five (5) years

  • Stop future interest and penalties

  • Possibly repay some of the tax debt less than 100%

  • For all your debts, including the back taxes, you only have one monthly payment

Most of our clients save thousands of dollars when they file Chapter 13 and they get their lives back. ROBERT J. ADAMS & ASSOCIATES provide reliable legal guidance to individuals and businesses. We know how to handle tax-related issues, including tax debts and IRS levies, and IRS liens. Chapter 13 stops Wage Levies. Also, you might save thousands of dollars on your tax bill. Let us look at your situation. Our consultations are free and confidential.

ROBERT J ADAMS & ASSOCIATES has offices in Chicago and Waukegan. We serve Chicago, all of Chicagoland, Lake County, and all adjacent counties and suburbs. We even handle cases remotely: by telephone and/or Zoom. Call 312-872-8443 today to speak to a lawyer anytime between 7 AM and 7 PM.