Garnished Taxes

Today TaxMama hears from Tony in Ohio who tells us. “I am currently getting garnishments taken out of my wages. Is this refundable? Or do I at least get credit towards filing my next return?”


Dear Tony,

If your paycheck is being garnished by IRS or your state, that money is going towards paying down an old balance due that you haven’t paid. And they rarely garnish wages until you’ve ignored a whole series of letters asking you to pay or to arrange a payment plan. In fact, they even sent you a letter with a 10 day warning – call us or we will levy your bank accounts and garnish your wages.

So, the garnishment should come as no surprise to you.

Alas, no, you won’t get credit toward filing your current year’s tax return.

Now, if you’ve already paid off that old balance, but they haven’t recorded your payments properly, you may want to dig out those old cancelled checks and get in touch with the tax authorities to get credit for your payments.

On the other hand, if you do owe this money, there is one way to stop the garnishments. Call the agency that is grabbing your funds and set up a voluntary payment plan. It’s so much less embarrassing than having folks at work know your wages are being grabbed. Kind of makes you look like a deadbeat, don’t you think?

Paying on your own is so much more private.

And remember, you’ll find answers to lots of questions about tax adversity and other tax information, free. Where? At

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