Wage Garnishment Help in New York City

& Finding a Wage Garnishment Lawyer

If you’ve mishandled your tax filings and find yourself owing back taxes to the IRS, it’s crucial not to delay taking control of the situation. Failure to address it promptly could result in significant penalties with serious repercussions. Both the IRS and the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance have a range of methods at their disposal to recover unpaid tax debt, some of which can severely impact an individual’s financial well-being. Depending on the amount owed and your history of interactions with these agencies, you may face severe collection actions, including wage garnishment.

Receiving a Notice and Demand for Payment from the IRS or the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance can be daunting, but having an experienced tax attorney by your side can make all the difference. They serve as your first line of defense against aggressive debt-collection tactics and can provide valuable guidance and representation during this challenging time.

What Is Wage Garnishment?

Wage garnishment serves as a method of debt collection that the IRS or the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance may employ against a taxpayer who has been notified of an unpaid debt but is unable to pay it in full. This process entails the agency collecting the tax debt deducting a portion of the taxpayer’s paycheck. The agency initiating wage garnishment will collaborate with the taxpayer’s employer, who will deduct the approved garnishment amount from the employee’s paycheck until the debt is repaid.

Typically, when a creditor seeks to pursue legal action against a debtor who cannot pay their debts, they must seek approval from the court to initiate wage garnishment. However, the IRS and the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance are exempt from this requirement. Once either of these agencies has commenced wage garnishment action against a taxpayer, it becomes exceedingly challenging for the taxpayer to lift the garnishment until their debt is settled in full.

Is Wage Garnishment Serious?

Numerous creditors have the authority to pursue wage garnishment against debtors for unpaid debts, but the court process required for most of them is lengthy. Typically, individuals in debt have some flexibility to address the outstanding debt or secure an alternate resolution. However, since the IRS and the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance are not bound by this requirement, a taxpayer facing wage garnishment must act swiftly to challenge the garnishment determination or obtain release from the wage garnishment action.

Another notable distinction between government collection agencies and private creditors is their approach to calculating garnishments. Private creditors are constrained by state and federal laws, which limit the amount they can deduct from a debtor’s pay. In contrast, the IRS and the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance do not adhere to this formula. Instead, they calculate how much a taxpayer may retain from each paycheck based on factors such as claimed W4 exemptions and paycheck frequency.

Wage garnishment poses a significant challenge for many New York City taxpayers because they are often unprepared for the extent of deductions that the IRS or the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance may impose on their paychecks. It’s not uncommon for taxpayers facing wage garnishment for federal or state tax debts to be left with insufficient funds to cover basic living expenses. This situation can easily lead to a compounded financial crisis for the taxpayer, potentially triggering further collection efforts from private creditors they are unable to repay.

What to Do About Wage Garnishment in New York City, New York

Both the IRS and the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance are aggressive when pursuing wage garnishment. The process doesn’t take very long to start affecting your life if you are in this situation. One of the best things you can do when faced with wage garnishment for unpaid federal or state taxes is to contact an experienced tax attorney who can help you determine your options and the best available remedies for the situation.

You have the right to appeal a wage garnishment action against you at the state or federal level. There are also some alternate remedies available that may help you satisfy your tax debts without being subject to wage garnishment. However, attempting to pursue any of these options without an experienced legal advocate on your side is incredibly difficult. Navigating tax regulations is exceedingly complex and subject to tight deadlines. An experienced tax attorney can help you pursue an appeal or alternative to wage garnishment quickly and effectively.

If you are unable to pay your tax debt in full to prevent wage garnishment, your tax attorney can potentially help you prove that you are experiencing legitimate financial hardship. Such a hardship would explain that it is impossible for you to repay your tax debt, qualifying you for “Currently Not Collectible” status. It’s also possible for your attorney to negotiate an Installment Agreement on your behalf, which allows you to repay your tax debt over time instead of paying a lump sum you cannot afford.

Another option is an Offer in Compromise, a legal procedure that could result in you settling your tax debt for less than you actually owe. Doing so is a complex process, so it’s vital to have an attorney assist you in the creation of your Offer in Compromise to avoid potential criminal penalties for perjury if you leave out key information.

An Experienced Tax Attorney Can Help

Don’t delay if you’re facing wage garnishment for unpaid taxes. Both the IRS and the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance aggressively pursue unpaid tax debts, and the longer you wait, the more severe the effects of wage garnishment will become. Many individuals whose wages are garnished for unpaid taxes feel the repercussions for years.

Contact Delia Law today to schedule a consultation with an experienced tax attorney who can assist you in addressing your wage garnishment issues with either the IRS or the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance. Our team has extensive experience providing wage garnishment assistance in New York City, New York, and can thoroughly evaluate your options.

New York-Specific Tax Laws


New York residents are required to pay taxes on income that was earned as well as for federal taxes. In fact, some people who don’t even live in New York must pay state taxes. If you lived elsewhere but acquired the money through a source in New York, you must pay state taxes on that income.

There are four main types of taxes in New York:

  • State income tax. New York State has a graduated income state tax, which means your tax rate increases as your income increases. The state’s tax rates range from 4% to 10.90%. For example, if you make under $8,500 annually, you will only be subjected to a 4% tax rate. However, if you make $25,000,001 and over, you are now facing the higher end of the state’s tax bracket at 10.90%.
  • Local tax. The local tax is a county-specific tax, and the rates also differ based on income. For example, in Tompkins County, the local tax rate is 4%. In contrast, in Suffolk County, the rate is 4.25%. The variation in local tax rates can make a significant difference in the overall amount of taxes you owe.
  • City tax. City taxes are only applicable to those who live or have earned money in New York City. This applies to individuals, trusts, estates, partnerships, S-corporations, and corporations. The city tax rate is 3.078%, 3.762%, 3,819%, and 3.876% depending on the bracket your income qualifies for.
  • Corporate tax. If you are a business owner, you are also required to pay corporate income tax. The tax rate on your corporate income ranges from 6.50% to 7.25%. These taxes generated from businesses is one of the main sources of revenue for the state of New York, and it helps to fund many of the state’s programs and services that benefit its residents.

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