Tax lien

Asked about 7 years ago - Philadelphia, PA

The IRS is taking 15% of my Social Security check for back taxes. Now they have garnished my bank account where the balance of my Social Security check is automatically deposited. Can the IRS take my entire Social Security check?

Attorney answers (4)

  1. 2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Through the Federal Payment Levy Program (FPLP), Social Security benefit payments are subject to a 15% levy, to pay a delinquent tax debt. In addition, the IRS can levy your bank account. This levy is separate from the FPLP. It is a one-time event to take all of the funds within the account subject to the levy. No matter how the funds were placed into the account - deposit, transfer, interest, etc. - the bank levy attaches to all of the funds. The bank must hold all funds you have on deposit - up to the amount you owe - for 21 days. This holding period allows the IRS time to resolve any issues about account ownership. After 21 days, the bank must send the money plus interest, if it applies, to the IRS.

    In your case, it appears that this occurred. And it is within the IRS's legal authority. The IRS took 15% of your Social Security through the FPLP. Then, the IRS levied your bank account, where the remaining 85% was deposited. This resulted in your entire Social Security being taken.

    Although the above is within the IRS's legal authority, you can contact the IRS to seek the release of both levies. This can be done through resolving your back tax liability. You can also get levies released by negotiating with the IRS to have your collection account placed into a Currently Not Collectible status. This means that your monthly income is exceeded by your allowable monthly expenses. You can prove this by demonstrating to the IRS that you need all of the income to pay for expenses tied to your and/or your family's health, welfare, or for the production of income.

    If you need further assistance, you can contact the IRS Taxpayer Advocate or a professional tax debt resolution company.

  2. 1

    Lawyer agrees

    1

    Answered . It depends on your financial situation. The IRS is taking 15% of your Social Security benefits under the provisions of the federal payments levy program. The levy will continue to do so until the balance due is paid in full. However, if the levy creates a hardship and you are unable to pay your basic living expenses, the IRS must release the levy or reduce the amount they take. The IRS has posted national standards on their website that define basic living expenses based upon where you live and the size of your family. To obtain a release of the levy, you or your representative must contact them to provide financial information and supporting documentation.

    The federal payments levy program is automatic and permits the IRS to take only 15% of your Social Security benefit. However, if a manual levy is served by an IRS collection officer, it is possible that the entire benefit can be taken to pay your tax debt.

  3. 1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . It depends on your financial situation. The IRS is taking 15% of your Social Security benefits under the provisions of the federal payments levy program. The levyh will continue to do so until the balance due is paid in full. However, if the levy on creates a hardship and you are unable to pay your basic living expenses, the IRS must release or reduce the levy. The IRS has posted national standards on their website that define basic living expenses based on where you live and the size of your family. To obtain a release of the levy, you or your representative must contact them and provide financial information and supporting documentation.

    The federal payments levy program is automatic and permits the IRS to take only 15% of your Social Security benefit. However, if a manual levy is served by an IRS collection officer, it is possible that the entire benefit can be taken to pay your tax debt.

  4. 1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . It depends on your financial situation. The IRS is taking 15% of your Social Security benefits under the provisions of the federal payments levy program. The levy will continue to do so until the balance due is paid in full. However, if the levy creates a hardship and you are unable to pay your basic living expenses, the IRS must release the levy or reduce the amount they take. The IRS has posted national standards on their website that define basic living expenses based upon where you live and the size of your family. To obtain a release of the levy, you or your representative must contact the IRS Collections Division to provide financial information and supporting documentation.

    The federal payments levy program is automatic and permits the IRS to take only 15% of your Social Security benefit. However, if a manual levy is served by an IRS collection officer, it is possible that the entire benefit can be taken to pay your tax debt.

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