The IRS has garnished my wages, and now my landlord is threatening to evict me because I can't pay my rent. What can I do?

The answer depends on the specifics of your situation. If you are single, and you have been living above your means by dint of not paying your taxes, then the government won't much care if you are evicted from your $3,000 per month apartment and have to move into less impressive digs (or, for that matter, back home with your parents). After all, a tax levy is meant to be punitive, and if the IRS has seen fit to institute one, it’s probably because you didn't take your tax problem sufficiently seriously.

Things become more complicated if you have dependents relying upon you for their physical and financial well-being. The government may not care if you are evicted from your apartment, but if you have minor children whose lives will be disrupted by this event, then you may be able to negotiate a reduction of your wage garnishment (with the aid of an experienced tax lawyer, of course). The same may apply if you have elderly parents who rely on you for their care, or if your spouse is seriously ill. The IRS can be ruthless, but it doesn't want to be responsible for anyone's suffering but your own!

If you feel your wage garnishment or another levy imposed by the IRS, such as the seizure of a bank account, is unduly punitive—not necessarily to you, but to the other people for whom you are responsible—a good tax lawyer may be able to negotiate for a suspension or reduction of the levy. Be aware you almost certainly will have to pay a big percentage of your tax bill, no matter what the outcome.

Questions? Call the Oklahoma tax experts at Travis W. Watkins, PC (800-721-7054) for a free consultation today!