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Does the IRS Have to Leave Me with A “Livable Wage” if It Garnishes My Paycheck?

Michael S. Anderson Dec. 2, 2013

No, the IRS doesn't have to leave you a livable wage.

The IRS must only follow a table that determines how much money it must leave for you to live on each month.

The amount that it must leave is small, and there are just 4 factors that play into the determination:

  • Whether you are married

  • The number of exemptions you should claim

  • Whether you are older than 65

  • Whether you are blind

For example:

If you are married filing a joint return and you get paid on a monthly basis, and take 2 exemptions, the IRS will leave you 1666.67 to live on.

It won't matter if you make $2000.00 per month or $20,000.00 per month, the IRS will leave you 1666.67 to live on each month until the debt is paid off or you do something else to deal with the debt like:

a. Arrange a payment plan or non-collectible status situation based on another set of budget figures.

b. Propose an Offer in Compromise

c. File a Bankruptcy

Obviously the IRS doesn't use the IRS Publication 1494 to collect the debt. It uses it to force you to do something about the debt.