The IRS is one of the most powerful creditors in the world, and if a person were not to pay their taxes, the IRS has many tools in the toolbox they can use until the tax debt is paid out. Notably, these tools include wage garnishments and taking money directly from the bank account, known as a bank freeze. The IRS also has the power to seize or sell a taxpayer’s vehicle, real estate, or other personal properties.

You should not let it get to the point where the IRS is surprising you in taking your assets. That is why you should consult a tax levy attorney about responding to IRS wage garnishments and bank freezes in Washington DC.

Wage Garnishments

Within three days of receiving a garnishment notice, an employer is required to provide a statement of dependents and the employee’s filing status to the IRS based upon Publication 1494 for the amount exempt from levy. If that information is not provided to the IRS in a timely fashion, the IRS will exempt an amount of money from an employee’s wage. For garnishing purposes, the taxpayer will be treated as a single tax filer with no dependents.

The wage garnishment for certain people could be as high as 70%, depending on the IRS filing status and the number of dependents on their tax returns for a single filer. The exemption starts around $1,000 per month and increases to approximately $2,000 per month if married and filing jointly. This exemption amount increases by a few hundred dollars per month for each dependent the taxpayer has.

Taxpayers can get their wage garnishment released by:

  • Paying the full underlying tax
  • The IRS accepting an installment agreement
  • Proving that the current level of wage garnishment is providing economic hardship
  • The statute of limitations has expired on the collection

A DC lawyer could provide insight into how a taxpayer could stop the garnishing of their wages.

Bank Freeze

The IRS could freeze a bank account when the taxpayer fails to pay their taxes after numerous written collection letters, including a Final Notice of Intent Levy and the Right to a Collection Due Process Hearing. By that point, the IRS has fulfilled all their notice requirements before they can begin collecting the amounts to enforce collections through wage garnishments.

After 21 days, if the IRS has not received the money they are owed, they can begin to take some of the money that was set aside during the freeze, which can include Social Security and retirement funds. A Washington DC taxpayer experiencing a bank freeze should immediately call a lawyer to discuss how to satisfy the debt.

Discuss Your Options for Wage Garnishments and Bank Freezes With a Washington DC Attorney

You can avoid a levy in the first place by timely filing and paying all your taxes. If that is not possible, then you need to file your tax returns as soon as you can after they were due. Then, if there is a tax that is unable to be paid at the time of filing, you should make alternative arrangements with the IRS.

Call and speak with our experienced tax law team if you are at risk of IRS wage garnishments and bank freezes in Washington DC.

Attorney John Pontius

Pontius Tax Law, PLLC is a tax law firm that strives to resolve sensitive tax problems through trust, dedication and value. The law firm was founded by John Pontius with offices in Washington, DC,  Rockville, MD, Bethesda, MD, Fairfax, VA, and Alexandria, VA. Mr. Pontius represents individual and business clients with sensitive and serious tax matters before the Internal Revenue Service and state taxing authorities. His client base is local, national, and international.

Over the course of his career, Mr. Pontius has represented businesses and individuals with complex tax issues in the following areas: FBAR examinations, offshore and domestic disclosures, FATCA, FIRPTA, tax planning, unfiled tax returns, release of tax liens and levies, trust fund recovery penalty, IRS and state audit examinations, as well as appeals, penalty abatement, U.S. Tax Court litigation, along with defense of tax fraud and evasion. If you require assistance from a tax lawyer, contact Mr. Pontius to discuss your situation.

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