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When garnished, can both spouse be garnished?

Portland, OR |

My husband is being garnished by the IRS and I'm affraid I will be garnished too. We won't make it financially if this happens...we barely will make it having him garnished since he makes the most.

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Attorney answers 4


Yes, that is possible, I'm afraid, especially if you have joint bank accounts. I've changed the practice area to 'tax' so you can get a better exposure.

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Thank you. Yes it's joint filing. They haven't started garnishing yet but it's coming.


This will depend on whether the tax liability was based on a jointly filed return or not. if he's the only one who owes the taxes, they can't take your money. But if you filed a joint return, it doesn't matter whose economic activity resulted in the tax debt; you are both responsible for it.

Disclaimer: This site exists to provide information only. It is not legal advice. Answering your question does not create an attorney-client relationship. I am a Massachusetts lawyer. Any information provided on this site does not, except as explicitly stated, imply familiarity with laws or procedures peculiar to your state which may differ from those where I practice.


IF you have a joint tax return I'm afraid that the answer might be yes. I suggest you talk to an acct about getting an offer and compromise together for the IRS that might take the garnishment away.


If you filed a joint return then you are both liable for the debt. If this is your husband's debt from a return he filed without you then your joint refunds and joint bank accounts are at risk but not your paycheck. If this is creating a financial hardship then you may be eligible for a collection alternative. Most people are not eligible for an Offer in Compromise but there are other collection alternatives. Very rarely am I unable to lower the amount being garnished and if it is creating a financial hardship I am frequently able to get the wage garnishment stopped.

Please feel free to contact me if you would like to discuss your options. Office number: (860) 255-7423 Website: Our reply to your question has not created an attorney-client relationship. It should not be considered legal advice. You should contact an Attorney who can give you legal advice after acquainting themselves with the specifics of your case.

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