Appealing An IRS Wage Levy: When And How To File The Paperwork

Posted on: 27 August 2015

From falling behind on a credit card bill to dealing with an unexpected illness, and the unpaid hospital bills that accompany it, there are many circumstances that can lead to a wage levy. However, when it comes to a wage garnishment through the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the circumstances, options and procedures are very different. If you are facing an IRS wage levy and are considering appealing this decision, here is some valuable information to help you stop wage garnishment.

Do I Have a Good Case to Win an Appeal?

From a mistake on the IRS' end to finding an alternate way to pay off your tax debt, there are many reasons why the IRS will consider an appeal. However, you will never know unless you contact the IRS directly and discuss your case.

Here are some of the most commonplace and valid reasons why the IRS will go ahead with an appeal:

  • The IRS was mistaken because you already paid your taxes.
  • You're going through bankruptcy, and you were sent the notice in error.
  • The statute of limitations ran out on any back taxes you owe. According to Nolo, the IRS has 10 years from the date you received your tax bill to collect any money.
  • You requested an Offer in Compromise through the IRS, and there hasn't been a decision yet.
  • You're working with the IRS to pay your taxes through another method. For example, through a repayment program.
  • You qualify for the innocent spouse relief. If your current or former spouse omitted something from your taxes or otherwise improperly filled out the forms, you can request this relief.
  • An error was made by the Internal Revenue Service.

There are many reasons why a person can qualify for an IRS wage garnishment appeal. If you're not sure whether your qualify, or have any other questions about the appeals process, don't hesitate to contact an attorney.

How and When to Appeal

If you or your attorney have determined you qualify for an appeal, it's vital to submit the necessary paperwork within 30 days of receiving the notice that your wages will be garnished. It's still possible to appeal the garnishment after it is in effect, but if you're livelihood will be severely impacted by the levy, it's best to not wait to contact the IRS.

The IRS agent will explain the appeals process before asking you to submit IRS form 12153, the Request for a Collection Due Process or Equivalent Hearing. You can ask the agent to send you this form, or you can obtain it on the Internal Revenue Service website.

It's vital to fill out this form correctly and completely. If you leave out any information it will only slow down the appeals process, which can ultimately hurt you financially. Once the IRS has received the form your wage garnishment will be suspended until a decision is made.

It will generally take several weeks for the IRS to reach a determination about your appeal. If they do not grant the appeal, you can contest this ruling. Once again, you have 30 days from when you receive the determination to file another appeal.

This whole process might seem overwhelming and confusing, which is why if you're concerned about any aspect of the process, it's crucial to work with a tax professional to ensure that you are doing your part to avoid a wage garnishment.

Getting the dread wage garnishment notice can be frightening, especially if you've never had to deal with the IRS in the past. However, with the help of a tax professional, it's possible to get past this financial setback.


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