IRA Attached for Bad Debt

Today TaxMama hears from Gerald in Bakersfield with this question. “Am I correct with my understanding that my IRA can not be attached for unpaid debt?”

Dear Gerald,

I am not sure where you found that information about an IRA.

IRAs may be attached by IRS for unpaid tax debt.

I am not certain if other creditors may attach IRAs or not. But doing some reading tells me that in each state the laws are different. It is quite possible that an IRA might be fair game in your state. In fact, I read one case where an IRA was garnished for back child support.

However, qualified plans – pensions, 401(k)s and such may not be attached by IRS or other creditors  under ERISA laws (remember OJ Simpson?).

I’d recommend consulting an attorney in your state to see if your IRA can be attached.

And remember, you can find answers to all kinds of questions about debt protection and other tax issues, free. Where? Where else? At

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