What percentage of your paycheck can be garnished?

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What percentage of your paycheck can be garnished?

My pay check has been garnished for back taxes. Gross pay $ 4487.50 and they took $ 2647.50. Can they take that much?

Asked on July 14, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Georgia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The problem is that the permissible amount of tax garnishment is much higher than the permissible amount of garnishment for other judgments or debts. Other judgment creditors--e.g. someone who sued you for breach of contract and won--can only get up to 25% of your disposable income, which is you income less government-mandated withholding. However, I believe the IRS can get up to 60% of your disposable income, which should be the amount that you are having garnished. It therefore appears that they can take this much; you may wish to contact the IRS and see if you can voluntarily work out some payment schedule which is more affordable for you. Good luck.


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