IfI owe the government back taxes can they garnish my pension or social security?

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IfI owe the government back taxes can they garnish my pension or social security?

Asked on November 15, 2010 under Bankruptcy Law, California

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Section 207 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 407) protects Social Security benefits from garnishment.  There are however, certain exceptions. Social Security income can be garnished if it is for :

  • Child support and/or alimony obligations;
  • Past unpaid and/or overdue Federal taxes;
  • Federal income tax liability for the current year;
  • Money owed to another Federal agency to pay a non-tax debt owed; and
  • Overdue federal tax debts (up to 15 percent of each monthly payment until the debt is paid)

Note:  Much the same rules apply to pensions. 


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