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Ask INFOLAWYER Your Own Question
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 53574
Experience:  Licensed attorney helping individuals and businesses
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Customer Question

Can the State of Utah Tax Commission garnish, levee or attach Social Security Income.
I am a 72 year old woman with Social Security only for income. My husband passed away 4 years ago and now the State of Utah says I owe extra taxes for 2006 and I have no idea what this is for nor do I have any of our old tax returns and or any way of getting them.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  INFOLAWYER replied 3 years ago.
Hello and thank you for the question. I am sorry to read of this dilemma. Generally, the government can garnish Social Security benefits described in Title II of the Social Security Act (OASDI). Section 6331 of the IRS code does not exempt Social Security from garnishment in order for the Internal Revenue Service to collect Federal taxes owed. The IRS may utilize the Federal Payment Levy Program or a manual levy. This includes Social Security disability program payments, retirement payments, and survivor payments.

Generally, your Social Security Benefits will be garnished by 15% monthly under the Automated Federal Payment Levy Program (FPLP). By its name, this is part of the automated process. On the other hand, through a manual levy, the IRS is only restricted in the sense that they must take into account what income is necessary for living and has a set of acceptable living expenses based on the family size. You need to contact Social Security to determine how the garnishment is being done.

Your options to stopping or releasing IRS social security garnishment depend largely on what your tax and financial situation look like. You should be proactive in resolving the situation as interest and penalties accrue when you have back taxes or unpaid taxes.
If you cannot pay your tax bill, and you believe the bill is a mistake, contact the IRS. If you simply cannot pay, you still need to file and you may want to consider investment, retirement, or savings accounts you can use or utilize in some way (borrowing against 401k) to satisfy taxes owed. Getting a loan to pay it off or using a credit card is another option if you qualify, but you need to weigh the costs and interest of pursuing these options. As a basic requirement, you need to have all tax returns filed, a Collection Information Statement available (in most cases) to resolve your tax situation in considering the options below:
IRS Installment Agreement
If you owe less than $25k in taxes, you can request an IRS Installment agreement, which is an payment plan that allows you to pay back the IRS over a number of years. Interest and penalties still continue to accrue, so the faster you pay down your taxes, the less penalties and interest you pay.
Partial Payment Installment Agreement (PPIA)
If you owe more than $10k in taxes, and you do not qualify for a regular IRS Installment Agreement, you may want to look at an Partial Payment Installment Agreement. You have to verify your financial situation with the IRS, but serves as a great alternative to an Offer in Compromise as it is easier to obtain. You must have no assets, or if you do have assets, they are not sufficient to resolve your tax problems. Interest and penalties accrue, but you may not pay them as the statue of collections makes part of your debt collectible.
Offer In Compromise
If you do not qualify for an Installment Agreement or cannot resolve your tax problems through a PPIA, you may want to make an Offer In Compromise (OIC) which is an agreement with the you and the IRS to pay less taxes than you owe. Whether your OIC is sufficient, depends on whether it is equal to or greater than your reasonable collection potential.
Currently Not Collectible
If your financial situation is dire, you could potentially be deemed by the IRS "Currently Not Collectible." You will have to verify that your financial situation is poor through a Collection Information Statement and that you do not have the assets or income to satisfy your current tax liabilities. The IRS has a set of standards it follows as to what expenses are necessary for you to live. Realize interest and penalties continue to accrue but the IRS will not try to levy you during this time.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

You obviously did not read my question. I was not asking about the IRS.
I specified State of Utah. I have no issue with the IRS. I have no other income or pension as stated in my question. I feel that you certainly did answer my question at all. I got more information off the internet and I was looking for a legal answer to more or less verify what I have already been able to find out. There is NOTHING that the answer has to do with my situation at all. Your answer is too vague to inform me or to help me. I HAVE NO INTENTION TO PAY FOR THIS REPORT. DON'T BOTHER GIVING ME ANY MORE TIME TO HEAR WHAT I ALREADY KNEW. I think this service is a scam and I certainly will report it as such.


I have already contacted my bank to hold the money that you have requested.

You advertise that we must be satisfied and I am not!!! This was a very simple question that certainly should be very simple to answer. Your staff obviously did not even read the question as I wrote it. I am not paying for this service. Again, I should have read into this that it was a scam. PLEASE REFUND MY MONEY!