Can my wages be garnished at 100% by the state for back taxes? 10 Answers as of June 28, 2013

The State has garnished my wages at 100% for back taxes. These taxes were included in my Chapter 7 bankruptcy that was filed a year ago. I realize I have to pay them but I live paycheck to paycheck and will not be able to go to work without a check. Is this legal?

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Law Office of Robert J. Slotkin | Robert J. Slotkin
There is a cap on wage garnishment and if you are head of household, you may be able to reduce it further. Your court clerk may be able to provide forms for you to submit or you can go to a law library, they sometimes have forms or you can call a lawyer.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 8/15/2012
Clos, Russell & Wirth, P.C. | Charles E. Clos
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 5/29/2013
Austin Hirschhorn, P.C.
Austin Hirschhorn, P.C. | Austin Hirschhorn
If you filed bankruptcy a year ago and the obligation for the state taxes was listed in your bankruptcy case the state might not be entitled to file a garnishment against your state tax refund unless it related to a prepetition liability if they did not get an order from the bankruptcy court lifting the automatic stay so they could file the garnishment against your refund. You should file an objection to the garnishment in the court where the garnishment was filed and have the court determine if you are entitled to a setoff from this claim under nonbankruptcy law. Both the tax refund and the tax liability must relate to a taxable period that ended before the date of the order for relief (the bankruptcy filing date) for the state to be entitled to recover by a garnishment.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 8/10/2012
Olson Law Firm | Edward M Olson
Taxes are not affected by bankruptcy. Wages can be garnished. However, it sounds like your employer may have failed to follow the garnishment formula on the form. You should contact your payroll service provider and go over the situation with them.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 8/14/2012
Law Offices of Charles R. Perry
Law Offices of Charles R. Perry | Charles R. Perry
Normally, a wage garnishment order in California cannot be more than 25% of disposable earnings. This may be an error in the payroll department of your employer, who has misinterpreted the garnishment papers, or there may be an error in the order itself. I would start by speaking to the person in charge of payroll for your company. If there is indeed a problem with the order, you will need to get it changed. I would start by contacting the Franchise Tax Board (I assume the back taxes are income taxes).
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/14/2012
    Jennifer L. Gottschalk, Esq. | Jennifer Gottschalk
    You are correct that state taxes are a debt that cannot be discharged under the Bankruptcy Code. Because you still owe taxes to the state and the state has gotten a lawful judgment allowing garnishment, you might consider seeing if you can negotiate a different method of payment to the state to satisfy the debt.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    The Phillips Law Firm
    The Phillips Law Firm | Joseph J Ganz
    The garnishment laws of the state of Washington do not permit a 100% reduction. If your Chapter 7 bankruptcy is still open I would check with your bankruptcy attorney or trustee if there is one.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    Generally, in Michigan, garnishments are limited to 25% of your after tax income.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/28/2013
    Steven Miller | Steven Miller
    You should consult with a bankruptcy attorney to see if that was discharged or not. Assuming it was not discharged, I think there are limitations as to the amount of a wage garnishment. You can also file something with the court, but I cannot recall the name of it claim of exemption or something.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Law Office of Russell J. Thomas, Jr. | Russell J. Thomas, Jr.
    Usually, when you receive this type of notice you can return a form to claim certain exemptions. Check to see if your received any type of paperwork concerning exemtions; if so, complete the paperwork and return it promptly.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/14/2012
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