Wage Garnishments from the IRS

We have an employee who makes excellent money, but does not like to pay her taxes evidently. I have received what is probably the fourth or fifth tax garnishment on her in about 6 years.

I looked up her withholding record and she is claiming 9 exemptions. She is a single person. I understand this is a tactic done by employees to get more money in their paychecks, but it's hard to believe the IRS would continue to allow this of a person who notoriously underpays taxes and then owes exhorbitant amounts at the end of the year.

The pain I feel is having to complete and figure out the amount of tax we have to subtract and send to the IRS and what she has left. Also, I seem to be the one holding on the phone to the IRS to insure that she has made payment arrangements so we won't get in trouble for not garnishing the pay.

Do any of you have this issue and what, if anything, can be done to make an employee take the proper number of deductions.

Just needed to vent! Hated waiting on hold listening to elevator music!


  • 5 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • I believe, and I could be wrong, that you can send a copy of their W-4 form to the IRS. In fact, I believe if you feel the EE is claiming too many exemptions, it is your responsibility to send the form. Double check on the IRS website and you can find more information.

    I know that if an EE claims Exempt that you have to send a copy of the W-4 form to them as I have had to do this in the past.

  • I have an employee who claims exempt every year. We have had to send a copy of the W4 every year until recently. The IRS changed the rules so that employers are no longer responsible for this unless specifically asked to do so by the IRS.

    Good luck!

  • As Nae pointed out, this is no longer a requirement. I must admit to never having to do this with the IRS but I have had other types of garnishments that we have had to honor.
    We have always been informed by court order how much we are to garnish the wages every payday. Maybe I am missing something simply, but how is this your problem? Shouldn’t this be between the ee and the IRS to straighten out? If she wants to claim “extra” dependents during the year, in order to bring home more money every payday that is her business and then she will be required to settle up with the IRS when she files her taxes to see how much she owes.

  • [font size="1" color="#FF0000"]LAST EDITED ON 08-25-08 AT 01:50PM (CST)[/font][br][br]It is odd that the IRS isn't requiring you to withhold more just based on her W4 and past experience. I also don't understand why you are calling the IRS yourself. If they ordered you to garnish, then you do so. If the employee comes to you and says they have made payment arrangements, then let them get the IRS to provide you with that information (they will.....eventually.) Until then, go ahead and do the garnishment. It is the employee's responsibility to straighten this out with the IRS, not yours.

    It sounds like the employee is willing to let others be responsible for the hard work, but that doesn't mean you have to do it. Do the minimum the law requires and let her handle the rest.

    Good luck!


    PS: Some states allow you to charge a fee for handling garnishments. If your state does, I think it is time to charge this employee the max.

  • We have employees who declare exempt part of the year and then switch.. .I assume this is their business not mine?

    This is new so am glad to hear I don't have to send anything to the IRS. .Geez, some days I can't keep it all straight.
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