Unpaid taxes can lead to significant hardship for Texas taxpayers. If you owe taxes to the IRS, you can be sure that they will come after you, regardless of your current financial situation. Unfortunately, they reserve the right to garnish your wages for any tax debt that you owe them, on top of other harsh collection methods, such as a property and tax lien.

If you have received notification from the IRS regarding wage garnishment, it is vital that you contact an experienced tax attorney as soon as possible. Unlike private creditors, the IRS has discretion on how much money they can take from you each month. There are fewer regulations for the federal government, so you could be left in severe economic hardship because of wage garnishment.

Tax Attorney – Ronald Arthur Stearns Sr. PLLC.

Hiring a tax professional is the most important thing you can do when dealing with tax debt from the federal government. Ronald Arthur Stearns Sr. PLLC has seen how IRS wage garnishments can cause serious economic hardship to American taxpayers. His career is focused on fighting against the IRS and creditors and protecting the rights of taxpayers.

Our law firm has been helping Texas citizens for over 26 years with all tax-related issues, including wage garnishment, audits, representing cases in a tax court, and advising clients on their rights under federal guidelines and laws. Our tax professionals have the experience and skills required to ensure you are not left in severe financial difficulty because of wage garnishments.

We will negotiate with the IRS, set up a payment plan on your behalf, assess whether you are eligible for loan forgiveness, and ensure that you get your exemption entitlements.

Call our law firm today to schedule a consultation at 210-853-2135.

What is IRS Wage Garnishment?

If you owe federal taxes to the government, the IRS has the power to take this debt from your wages each month before you are paid. The IRS will notify you of an unpaid tax bill and may try to work out an installment agreement or payment plan. If you do not figure out a way to pay back the taxes that you owe, you may become subject to an IRS levy or wage garnishment.

The IRS will notify you of their intent to begin garnishing your wages. They are legally required to inform you and your employer before taking money from your paycheck. If you receive a “Final Notice of Intent to Levy and Notice of Your Right to a Hearing, ” you must respond within 30 days. Otherwise, they will begin garnishing your wages.

How Much Can The IRS Garnish From Your Wages?

Most creditors in the U.S. have limits on how much they can garnish from your wages each month. This is set at 25% of disposable earnings or the amount by which disposable earnings are more than 30 times the federal minimum wage.

However, the IRS is unfortunately not bound by this law. This means that they can choose how much to garnish from your wages each month, depending on how much you owe and how much you earn. The limit is typically between 25-50% of your disposable earnings after deductions are made. However, this could be more if you have a higher salary.

The only limitations the IRS has are the exemptions provided under the law. Exemptions are determined by the number of dependents, your filing status, and your pay period. So, if you are a single person with no dependents, and you receive $3,000 per month, you could be left with just $1154.17 after wage garnishment. The amount increases if you have dependents.

Wage Garnishment Exemptions

There is no definite answer as to how much the IRS can garnish your wages. Federal law on IRS wage garnishment is different from the limitations set on creditors, so they have full discretion on how much they take from your salary. However, there are some exceptions to wage garnishment provided by the IRS in a table updated each year.

As of 2023, the monthly salary amount exempt from garnishment and tax levy includes:

  • A single person with no dependents – $1154.17.
  • A single person with one dependent – $1545.84.
  • Head of household with two dependents – $2516.67.
  • A married couple filing together with no dependents – $2308.33.
  • A married couple filing together with two dependents – $3091.67.

If the exemption has not been automatically applied to the wage garnishment, it is important to speak with a tax professional. They can help ensure that you have enough disposable income each month to afford basic living expenses, and prevent the IRS from garnishing all of your wages.

Child Support Limitations

The IRS can only garnish your disposable earnings each month after basic deductions are made. However, there are also limitations on the amount they can garnish if you are paying child support or spousal support (alimony). If your child support payments come directly from your wages, the IRS must reduce the amount they garnish by the amount of child or spousal support you pay.

If your child support payments do not come from your paycheck, and you make them through independent periodic payments or a lump-sum payment, you must inform the IRS of this. They should then reduce the amount that they garnish based on the support money that you pay.

Can The IRS Garnish Your Wages For Non-Tax Debts?

Wage garnishments usually happen when you owe a tax debt to the government. However, if you have defaulted on debts with the U.S. government, up to 15% of your disposable income can legally be garnished to pay this back, as provided under the Debt Collection Improvement Act.

The IRS has the authority to garnish or place a wage levy on your salary for any defaulted federal student loans you owe. If you owe money for both back taxes and loans to the U.S. government, you could face multiple wage levies on your monthly salary.

The amount deducted in a wage garnishment should not exceed the limitations set out in Title III of the Consumer Credit Protection Act. If it does, speak with a tax attorney as soon as possible to resolve this issue. They can petition the IRS and other agencies to reduce wage garnishments and avoid undue hardship on you.

How To Stop Wage Garnishment

The only way to stop wage garnishment is to get the tax lien removed. Unfortunately, the IRS cares only about getting their money, so it can be quite difficult to get this removed. However, a lawyer can help prove that you will suffer economic hardship through the garnishment or tax lien order, and help set up an installment agreement on your behalf.

An installment agreement or an offer in compromise (OIC) would allow you to pay back tax debt in smaller payments each month, relieving you of some economic hardship and preventing your wages from being garnished.


As a last resort, taxpayers can file for bankruptcy to prevent the IRS from garnishing your wages. When you file for bankruptcy, an automatic stay is placed on your bank accounts and earnings, which prevents the IRS from garnishing your wages. There are many consequences to filing for bankruptcy, however, and you may face further financial difficulties in the future.

What Is The Maximum Amount The IRS Can Garnish From Your Paycheck?

Federal law does not provide a strict limit on how much the IRS can garnish from your paycheck each month. There are exemptions in place, which prevent taxpayers from being left with no salary at the end of the month. However, the salary that you could be left with after wage garnishment is minimal compared to the everyday cost of living and maintaining a household.

If you owe IRS money and have received notice of wage garnishment, contact an experienced tax attorney as soon as possible. The risks associated with wage garnishment are huge. You could be left in severe economic hardship and face fines and penalties for your tax debt.

With the backing of an experienced lawyer, you can ensure that your legal rights are protected and you have a full understanding of your situation.

Ronald Arthur Stearns Sr. PLLC.

Ronald Arthur Steans Sr. PLLC. wants to help you fight against IRS wage garnishment. When coming up against the government for tax debt, you need the backing of an aggressive attorney who knows how to handle cases just like yours.

Our law firm has been handling IRS tax debt and wage garnishment cases for over 26 years, so we know what it takes to win these cases. We prioritize protecting your legal rights and ensuring that you are not left in significant financial hardship because of unpaid taxes.

Our law firm will negotiate to set up a fair payment plan, try to prevent garnishment, assess whether you are entitled to debt forgiveness, and fight on your behalf to prevent serious measures from being introduced. We understand the stress and panic you feel after receiving a garnishment notice in the mail, and we want to help ease this stress and guide you through your case.

Contact our law firm today to discuss your case by calling 210-853-2135.