A wage garnishment is a legal procedure in which the IRS can collect your tax liability by having your current employer take a portion of your pay and send it to the IRS. This is a way for the IRS to collect taxes from you without you actually paying them. The IRS can seize salaries, commissions, bonuses, wages, retirement money, and pension earnings. This occurs after repeated letters and warnings about the taxes owed. It is very important to understand how garnishments work and how to take the appropriate measures to avoid it.
The IRS takes all of your paycheck except for a specific amount that is considered to be exempt from levy. The amount the IRS will leave you is based upon the filing status on your last tax return, how often you are paid, and the number of exemptions that you claim on your payroll. The IRS will send a table to your employer with the garnishment that tells them how much to leave you. This means that no matter how much money you make, the IRS is going to leave you with the same amount of take-home-pay. Anything above that amount goes to the IRS. If you do not make a lot of money, an IRS garnishment may only come out to them taking 30% of your pay. If you earn a lot of money, the IRS garnishment may result in the government keeping 80% or 90% of your pay.