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My boyfriend received a letter from the IRS saying they are going to start garnishing his wages and taking money

San Diego, CA |

My boyfriend received a letter from the IRS saying they are going to start garnishing his wages and taking money from his bank accounts. My question is we are NOT married he has a single account (which does NOT have my name on it). Then we have a joint account which has my name and his name on it and a business account that has my name and his name on it. Can the IRS take money from the joint and business account even if it has my name on it as well?

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Attorney answers 5


Yes. Joint accounts belong to whoever's names are on them, and the creditors have no way of knowing who the source of that money is, or whose it is after it's put in that account. All they know is that the accountholders have opted to share their money.

Move your money to your own account without his name on it ASAP.

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Yes because his social security # is on the account which is more important. You may want to consult with an tax attorney regarding the businss which problably can be protected.

Good luck!
Phillip M. Smith Jr.
Los Angeles Tax & Business Attorney
Licensed in the United States Tax Court
Call: 323-292-4116 or 562-505-1004

THESE COMMENTS ARE NOT LEGAL ADVICE. They are provided for informational purposes only. Actual legal advice can only be provided after consultation by an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction. The answer to question does not create an attorney-client relationship or otherwise require further consultation. Mr. Smith is licensed to practice law throughout the state of California with offices in Los Angeles County. He is authorized to handle IRS matters throughout the United States, and is also licensed to practice before the United States Tax Court. His phone number is 323-292-4116 or his email address is


My colleagues are correct in that the IRS can and will drain the entire balance of the joint accounts. It would be wise to remove the funds to your personal account. As to the business account, the IRS should not be able to access corporate funds. However, if tghe account is in his name personally, then they can.

This answer does not establish an attorney-client relationship, Moreover, this attorney is Licensed to practiced law ONLY in LOUISIANA and answers to questions from other jurisdictions or states are meant to provide only general information. Users should contact a local attorney in their jurisdiction or state.


To answer your question, yes, as the other attorneys have stated, they do have the ability to access any bank account with his social security number on it. However, notices like this do not normally come in at the same time. Often the IRS will either garnish wages OR pursue bank levies, not often do they do them at the same time. There is on the otherhand a standard notice letter stating "notice of intent to levy", of which the IRS claims that they will pursue collection activity of this nature unless the balance is paid in full. This is just a notice letter, and is not an immediate notice of collection actiivity. If this is true, your boyfriend does have time to stop collections from happening and you will not have to go through all the trouble of moving funds from accounts or other actions. The letter to look out for is a "final notice of intent to levy", which means within 30 days actions will be taken, or even worse, a "notice of levy/garnishment" letter. In any sense, your boyfriend should contact someone soon to help him out.

Disclaimer: This answer does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied on. Each factual situation is unique and if you need further legal assistance, you should contact an attorney near you. Also, in no way does this answer create an attorney-client relationship.