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Tax Garnishment | IRS and California | Flat Fee Tax Service | San Diego - Los Angeles

Updated: Dec 4, 2020


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Tax Garnishment: IRS and California Franchise Tax Board

Once this corona virus (COVID-19) lock-down is over, the IRS will be back at collecting tax debt. You can be sure of it. This is a very good time to start thinking about your strategy to avoid future IRS tax problems. Few people relish the obligation to file and pay income taxes, but the only thing that may be worse than paying taxes is failing to ensure that the full extent of your tax duties are satisfied. Many of our fellow citizens are now out of work. Many are collecting unemployment compensation plus the federal rescue dollars. These funds will have tax consequences. You will have a tax debt. The failure to pay taxes can result in an IRS tax garnishment (#wagegarnishment) including the addition of significant penalties and interest on the unpaid amount of tax. The amount of tax due, penalties and interest will continue to grow either due to, the taxpayer’s refusal to pay the tax, failure to challenge the amount due, or due to neglect on the taxpayer’s part. If the failure to satisfy the federal or state debt continues for a long enough period, the IRS or California Franchise Tax Board may take additional action to collect on the unpaid tax debt. This action may include filing a public lien against the taxpayer or levying (forced taking of) a taxpayers assets.

What is a Tax Levy or Tax Garnishment?

Both a tax levy and a garnishment are both forced formal claims to take your property or money to satisfy an unpaid debt. When ordered by the IRS or the Franchise Tax Board (FTB), a levy is the legal process utilized to seize your wages, your bank accounts or your property in satisfaction of a tax debt. A tax garnishment is similar to a levy in the sense that it is also a legal process used to seize your property to cover an unpaid debt. The main difference between the two terms and procedures is that a levy typically applies to your property or money in a bank account. By contrast, a garnishment applies to your wages or other income. Thus, a tax levy is a one-time event. By contrast, a tax garnishment on a taxpayer’s wages is continuous. The IRS or FTB can use these processes to secure partial or full payment for an unpaid tax debt that is due and owing. When Will the IRS Issue a Tax Garnishment or Tax Levy in Los Angeles?

Believe it or not, there are areas of the United States that the IRS gives extra special attention. Southern California is such an area. Simply put, there are more IRS tax problems in Los Angeles and Southern California than there are in Lexington, Kentucky. Therefor, the IRS conducts more audits and levies in Los Angeles, as well as the entire state of of California. The steps and processes the IRS must satisfy before issuing a tax levy or garnishment are dictated by nationwide standard. Thus, whether you live in Los Angeles, Orange County, or somewhere else in California, or in another state the standards are the same.

The IRS must send a number of notices to the taxpayer before the agency can seize your wages, your bank accounts, your property or assets. A tax garnishment generally doesn't sneak up on a taxpayer. There may be a few limited circumstances, such as where the taxpayer moves, in which the taxpayer may claim that they did not receive notice. However, claims of this type are, at best, of limited effectiveness as all that is required that they notify you at your last known address whether you still reside at that address or not. The steps the IRS must take before issuing a levy on property are:

The IRS has assessed your taxes. Following the assessment, the IRS mailed a tax bill to you. The tax bill is typically titled along the lines of a Notice and Demand for Payment.

The taxpayer, most often, ignores or neglects the letter sent. In some cases, the taxpayer may refuse to pay the tax bill or exhaust all appeal options.

The IRS will then send the taxpayer a final notice. The notice is typically titled Final Notice of Intent to Levy and Notice of Your Right to A Hearing or similar language. The notice can be delivered in a number of ways including in-person service at your home or regular place of business or by registered mail.

The tax levy notice is sent at least 30 days before the IRS will take action to seize your property. While the levy may not necessarily occur on the 31st day, it is still import for the taxpayer to file a timely appeal or otherwise take timely action to stop the levy. If the taxpayer fails to do so, he or she will forfeit certain rights that would otherwise protect his or her property.

How Do I Stop an IRS Tax Garnishment?


Another means available to stop a wage tax garnishment or other levy on your property is to file your appeal through IRS Collection Due Process (CDP). A timely request for a due process hearing filed within 30 days, will be followed by a notification alerting the taxpayer their request has been forwarded to IRS Appeals. A timely request will prevent collection enforcement action by the IRS until the CDP hearing. IRS Appeals typically follows-up within 60-90 days, therefore it is essential that the taxpayer is diligent during this period and collects and provides all relevant documents so that an experienced tax lawyer can assist the taxpayer in achieving compliance including, unfiled taxes, estimated taxes, and other federal tax obligations. If a Final Notice was served, documents evidencing the taxpayer’s ability to pay must be provided. Achieving compliance is important because without taking such action, the IRS Settlement Officer will decline to discuss the merits of the case because no other viable collection alternatives are available. Discussion and negotiations during the CDP hearing generally concern procedural issues and alternatives to the proposed levy by the IRS. If an agreement cannot be reached, the taxpayer retains the right to appeal to Tax Court. While other tax relief options exist, they should be discussed thoroughly with a tax lawyer prior to taking action. Attorneys Provides Tax Garnishment Help in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego and Southern California.

If you have already received a tax levy notice, the exact action you should take is dependent on which notice you received and how far the process to seize your property has progressed. Regardless of how far the process has proceeded, individuals facing a levy must keep their cool, proceed methodically, and avoid rash decisions motivated solely by panic or anxiety. The steps a taxpayer who has received a notice of levy regarding a property seizure from the IRS or FTB should follow are:

1. Collect all notices mailed to you regarding the levy.

Once all notices are collected, examine the upper right-hand corner of the notice for a code beginning with CP or LT. For IRS collections enforcement, these notices may include a CP-504 Intent to Levy notice or an LT-11. 2. If you have received a notice from the California FTB including a tax bill, an Order to Withhold (OTW), an Earnings Withholding Order for Taxes (EWOT), Income Tax Due Notice, or a notice from a private tax collector authorized by the State of California collect these documents. A complete listing of Franchise Tax Board notices can be found on its notices page

With the information in-hand, contact an experienced tax lawyer with a track record of success.

The tx professionals at Flat Fee Tax Service can assist taxpayers facing a tax garnishment or IRS levy involuntary collections actions due to unpaid state or federal income taxes. Our experienced tax lawyers can handle levies and garnishments attempted by the IRS or FTB. There is absolutely no need to jeopardize your health by physically visiting our office. To have your tax levy stopped and released in one day, call our team. You can exercise complete "social distancing" as all of our work is carried on by phone, email and fax. FLAT FEE TAX SERVICE - FLAT FEE TAX RELIEF



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