Can The IRS Take My Social Security?

20 Oct Can The IRS Take My Social Security?

Yes they can; at least a portion of the Social Security benefit can be taken by the IRS if you owe tax. Social Security payments are not protected from enforced collection to recover money owed to the US Treasury.The IRS can levy against Social Security payments in two different ways. There is a 15% automated levy and an IRS manual levy that can take a much larger portion of the payment.

The first Social Security collection option, the Federal Payment Levy Program allows an automatic deduction in the amount of 15% of each monthly benefit that goes to the IRS to pay outstanding debt. The second option, a continuous levy on wages, salary or other income, takes the entire amount above a minimum exemption. The amount of monthly income exempt from levy is based on the tax withholding status of the taxpayer. For example, a single taxpayer without additional dependants is entitled to a minimum monthly exemption from levy of $729.17. The IRS provides a chart each year that indicates the amount of benefit, wage or other payment exempt from levy.

If the IRS levy causes a financial hardship, it may be possible to reduce the amount taken or stop the levy altogether. As I discussed in an earlier article, the IRS maintains standards for collection and is usually willing to work out an agreement for voluntary payment. If an agreement is reached, the IRS will release the levy.

Even if a taxpayer is unable to make payments on the debt, a full levy release may be possible under appropriate circumstances. If the taxpayer can not meet minimum allowed living standards with the levy in place, the IRS must reduce or release the levy. However, they will not do so unless financial information and supporting documentation is provided to the IRS for their analysis.

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I was admitted to practice in 1978. I am certified as a Consumer Bankruptcy Specialist by the American Board of Certification. I regularly speak on tax and bankruptcy issues at state, regional and national conferences. Years of experience in practice before the Internal Revenue Service and Oregon Department of Revenue have given me the background to resolve a large variety of consumer tax issues.
4 Comments
  • Barry Berkwitt
    Posted at 15:29h, 02 May

    I am a 63 year old mail that owes the IRS and Arizona state a lot of money, mostly interest accumulated over several years. I have been living out of the country for 3 years now and really need whatever help I can get in receiving some sort of SS benefits. Even the minimum of 700. seems like a fortune to me now. If you can do the paperwork necessary so I can receive any form of social security benefits I will sign over a power of attorney for you to recover your fees in full and then I can rest easy. I am one step from living on the street and I never thought I would ever be in that position. I need help very bad, if you can do this I would be in your debt.

  • Joe Patterson
    Posted at 13:18h, 07 May

    I am retired and will be 70 years old my next birthday.
    My only income is my social security.
    I have a timeshare that has a maintenance fee of
    about $550/year. I cannot afford it.
    What will happen if I just stop paying the fee?
    I dont own my house either.

  • indeed
    Posted at 11:41h, 16 June

    I’m 57, I’ve been assaulted in hospital, by hospital staff under the direct supervision of two specialist six year ago. I’ve not been able to locate a lawyer who is willing to help, ostensibly because of the FDA preemption. Four 1/2 years ago I was illegally fired from my job for the fraud of “disability”. I’m INELIGIBLE for SSD, since I was doing a great job. The IRS refused to answer my questions on “disability”, as they have absolutely no intelligence on how to deal with fraud. I do not know how to file for taxes, there is NO ONE who has any legal help to me. As far as I know, I’m being BARRED from working at any viable employment. Any small job that I’ve would take would allow rapacious theft from the insurance companies and I will have to repay ALL of my retirement AGAIN. The system has defrauded me of all of my resources. Still I cannot find a single lawyer who is willing to help me out this abject poverty fraud of “disability”. WHAT DO I DO?? Is there no protection for U.S. citizens anymore? Is there no legal help anywhere????? What country will protect me from this hate?
    I haven’t earned a single dime, because I’m BARRED from doing this by these hateful laws. I’m cold and starving. PLEASE TELL ME WHERE I CAN FIND SOME VIABLE HELP.