A wage levy means that the government is seizing your property (usually money) to pay a debt that they believe you owe. When you owe a back tax debt to a government agency (like the Internal Revenue Service or, in Bakersfield, state agencies like the Franchise Tax Board or Board of Equalization), there may come a time that they issue a wage levy against you. While there are many ways the government can seize your assets, the most frequently done are wage levies (where the government sends a letter to your employer and takes money out of your paycheck before you get it) and bank levies (where the government dips into your bank account and, often, leaves it completely empty).
According to the IRS: “A levy is a legal seizure of your property to satisfy a tax debt. Levies are different from liens. A lien is a legal claim against property to secure payment of the tax debt, while a levy actually takes the property to satisfy the tax debt.”
Levies are scary, because they can leave you unable to pay your bills or feed your family. Worse yet, this is often done with what seems like little or no notice, leaving taxpayers in a very frightening, overwhelming, and urgent situation.
Are you Experiencing a Wage Levy in Bakersfield?
The unfortunate reality is that Bakersfield is facing a sharp economic downturn that is making life very difficult for a number of our most hardworking neighbors. Many of the local Kern area agriculture, oil, and construction workers are finding themselves under or out of work– and totally unable to pay their back tax debts. It’s not anyone in Bakersfield’s fault that many big, national (or international) companies are scaling back local operations, but the pain of these big business decisions is real for many of our local neighbors.
When you don’t pay your back taxes, even if it’s because you can’t, you will often find yourself with the government knocking at your door. And with your wallet as tight as it has ever been, there is no worse time to find your bank account cleaned out or your paycheck a fraction of what it ought to be.
We know that the Bakersfield economy and jobs will get better. For years, our city has subsisted on what often feels like a boom and bust cycle great prosperity and troubled times. But you can’t sit by idly and hope that your job in the oil fields or at the job site will improve before the government catches up to you. Oftentimes, it is the worst moment when that levy will finally drop and you find your bank empty or your check hit. Tax levies, whether bank levies or wage levies, are no joke.
What Are your Options?
Know one thing: if you are experiencing a wage levy in Bakersfield, it is not hopeless. We often say to our clients and friends that there is no such thing as a hopeless tax case. . . and it’s true. There are always options to resolve your wage levy situation and it’s just a matter of figuring out what the best course of action is for you and your family.
According to the IRS: “If the levy on your wages is creating an immediate economic hardship, the levy must be released. If the levy on your bank account or other account is creating an immediate economic hardship, the levy may be released. An economic hardship occurs when we have determined the levy prevents you from meeting basic, reasonable living expenses.”
If your wage levy has been received by your employer, but you haven’t been paid yet, there’s a chance we can get that levy off before you lose any money. If you have already been paid and the money has been held, then it’s key that we make sure your next check is safe from the same action.
If your bank has been levied, know that there is actually a window where the money can be put back into your account the same day– but it’s vital that you aggressively and actively get push to have this done. Ideally, professional representation is the best way to make sure this gets done right away and done right.
According to the IRS: “The IRS is required to release a levy if it determines that:
- You paid the amount you owe,
- The period for collection ended prior to the levy being issued,
- Releasing the levy will help you pay your taxes,
- You enter into an Installment Agreement and the terms of the agreement don’t allow for the levy to continue,
- The levy creates an economic hardship, meaning the IRS has determined the levy prevents you from meeting basic, reasonable living expenses, or
- The value of the property is more than the amount owed and releasing the levy will not hinder our ability to collect the amount owed.”
How Can We Help?
At Tax Crisis Institute, we take the the responsibility of helping our Bakersfield neighbors with their levies very seriously. We understand how scary and overwhelming getting a wage levy can be, but we also have the experience and passion to help you and your family resolve this matter promptly and fairly. You have rights and it’s important that you work with someone who knows those rights and is willing to fight for those rights.
Our family business has been in operation here in Bakersfield for over 30 years, helping our neighbors in the Bakersfield community move forward in their lives, free from the fear and anxiety that comes with a looming tax debt.
If you are suffering from an active wage levy or the prospect of one, please give us a call today at our local office on California Avenue. We are here to help you and we can.
What We Do
We take your rights very seriously and use our years of experience to fight for you. The tax code is complicated and often extremely overwhelming when trying to approach it as a regular person, so it’s important to rely on experienced professionals to help guide you, educate you, and fight for you. Let our experience work for you.
Beyond experience, we work hard to bring you peace of mind. The reality is that it’s nearly impossible to work, care for your family, and fight the tax agencies yourself. Waiting on hold three hours to talk to someone at the government is impossible when there’s homework to help with, reports to finish, and dinner to prepare. Let us lift that burden for you.
“In my 20 years’ experience dealing with the IRS, I have run across countless tax professionals who hold themselves out to be competent to deal with tax collection problems. Not one in a thousand has the knowledge or practical experience to get the job done. Dana Ronald is one of the rare few with the experience, the knowledge, and courage needed to challenge the IRS on behalf of his clients.
As the Executive Director of the Tax Freedom Institute, I am proud to have Dana as a member of my organization. I have complete confidence in his ability to handle even the toughest tax case.”
Daniel J. Pilla, Executive Director Tax Freedom Institute
Tax Crisis Institute offers:
- A free, initial consultation– that way we can go over your the exact facts of your case and figure out the best course of resolution for you.
- Prompt response– we are here to answer your questions whenever you need.
- Over 30 years of experience