One of the steps that the IRS can take to make sure that you pay your taxes is to garnish your wages. Although this is an extreme step that functions as a last resort for the agency, it is difficult to get a wage garnishment to stop once it starts. Generally, the IRS will alert you and your employer two weeks before a garnishment is to begin in an effort to gain compliance without garnishment.
The best thing to do is to contact the IRS or have your attorney contact the IRS on your behalf. As long as you or your representative respond in good faith, it may be possible to delay any further action while the case is being resolved. In the event that wages are already being garnished, it may be possible to end the garnishment by reaching an agreement to pay the balance immediately or through installment payments.
While the government is most interested in getting its money, it recognizes that there are times when an individual cannot pay. If you have suffered from a medical hardship or some other fiscal emergency, the IRS may determine that your debt cannot be collected. However, if you or your attorney reach an agreement with the IRS, make sure that you can follow through with the payments. Otherwise, the garnishment may resume, which could result in up to $70 for every $100 that you make going directly to the government to cover your tax debt.