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The withholding of a person's full salary or wages, especially in order to pay a creditor or the tax agency. For example, suppose one's regular paycheck would be $1500. Garnishment occurs when the person receives a check for only $1050 because the government is withholding $450 for taxes. Garnishment may also occur for other reasons, such as to pay child support, back taxes, or some debts.


A process involving three parties:

• Judgment creditor. The party who takes a judgment against a debtor (can also be the IRS or a state's Department of Revenue).

• Judgment debtor. The party who owes the debt.

• Garnishee A party who owes money or holds property belonging to the judgment debtor.

In this legal process, the judgment creditor obtains a court order requiring the garnishee to turn over funds or property to the judgment creditor instead of to the true owner, the judgment debtor. The most common garnishments are against employers, requiring them to withhold a portion of wages and salary and pay it to the creditor rather than to the employee. The second most common garnishment is against a bank, ordering it to turn over bank account funds to the judgment creditor or the IRS.

References in periodicals archive ?
In terms of company size, the study revealed a higher wage garnishment rate in larger companies, as well as a greater number of employees carrying higher numbers of wage garnishments.
"Wage garnishment can have a profound effect on the employee who is being garnished, as well as the employer who must implement and comply with the garnishment order and applicable regulations," said Julie Farraj, division vice president and general manager of Wage Garnishments and Unemployment/Employment Verification Services for ADP Added Value Services.
A new study released today by the ADP Research Institute (ADPRI) examines the nuances of wage garnishment across the country, and demonstrates how company size, industry, and location factor into the compliance complexities a business faces.
Federal law sets a ceiling on monies collected by wage garnishment. An employer may not garnish any more than the lesser of two amounts: 1) 25 percent of an employee's earnings, or 2) the amount by which an employee's earnings exceed 30 times the federal minimum wage ($5.15 per hour in 2000).
The emphasis of the study is on the effects on bankruptcy filing rates of policy levers, specifically homestead exemptions and wage garnishment laws; social issues such as stigma, legalized gambling, and other social factors; and self-employment.
To help educate employers, ADP will conduct an hour-long webcast to provide key insights into the latest wage garnishments myths and misconceptions that have developed in today's business world.
This webcast will help participants learn: The latest myths around wage garnishment and how they've been debunked Different types of wage garnishments and how each one impacts both employers and employees How electronic processes can help manage wage garnishments to improve company compliance and mitigate overall risk Latest wage garnishment data and trends that offer insights on employee wages and garnishments reporting.
2: Nothing New is Happening with Wage Garnishments. New and evolving legislation continues to change the landscape of wage garnishments, with new legislation and judicial developments often requiring fast action by employers to adjust how they process wage garnishments to remain compliant with the law.
3: Electronic Processing is Not Yet a Viable Option for Handling Wage Garnishments. With the evolution of electronic processes across all areas of business, many employers have extended this practice into processing wage garnishments.
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Their tenured tax lawyers and CPA accountants represent clients from all over the United States to resolve back taxes, abate tax penalties and interest, obtain innocent spouse relief, avoid or remove tax levies and wage garnishments, and permanently resolve IRS tax problems.
From tax preparation to lifting wage garnishments and settling back tax debt, our team of tax professionals is ready to assist you.