Call for free Tax Review

Can the IRS Garnish My Pension for Back Taxes?

Can the IRS Garnish My Pension for Back Taxes


Retirement is a time to enjoy the fruits of your labor, relax, and relish the security of your pension. However, if you owe back taxes to the IRS, you might be worried about the possibility of them garnishing your hard-earned pension funds. This concern is valid, but it’s essential to understand the rules, regulations, and options available to protect your retirement income.

Can the IRS Garnish My Pension?

The IRS possesses significant powers to collect unpaid taxes, but when it comes to garnishing retirement pensions, specific rules and limitations apply. Understanding these rules is crucial to alleviate concerns about the security of your pension.

  • Typically, Yes: In general, the IRS can garnish a portion of your pension income if you owe back taxes. However, there are legal safeguards and limitations to protect a portion of your retirement income.
  • Exemption for Certain Pensions: Some pension plans, such as Social Security benefits and military pensions, are exempt from IRS garnishment. These exemptions exist to ensure that retirees have a minimum level of financial security.
  • Percentage Limit: When the IRS garnishes a pension, they can usually take a maximum of 15% of each payment. This percentage may vary based on individual circumstances and applicable laws.
  • Thresholds for Protection: The IRS offers protection for a portion of your pension income to cover your basic living expenses. If your income falls below the determined threshold, it may be protected from garnishment.

Laws That Safeguard Your Pension

ERISA and Pension Protection Act

Two significant pieces of legislation provide vital protection for your pension:

  • Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA): ERISA safeguards private pension plans and sets strict rules to protect the rights of plan participants. It establishes requirements for pension plan reporting, disclosure, and fiduciary responsibilities.
  • Pension Protection Act: This act enhanced protections for pension benefits. It prohibits the assignment or garnishment of pension benefits, with exceptions for specific types of debt, such as child support.


While the IRS does have the authority to garnish a portion of your pension for back taxes, there are crucial safeguards in place to protect your retirement security. Understanding these safeguards, including IRS limitations and pension protection laws, is essential.

If you’re concerned about IRS garnishment affecting your pension, it’s wise to seek professional assistance from experts like Priority Tax Relief. They can help you navigate the intricacies of tax debt resolution, pension protection, and negotiations with the IRS, ensuring that you can enjoy your retirement with peace of mind and financial security. Don’t let tax concerns jeopardize your retirement – explore your options and secure your pension today.

Get a free tax consultation:

I acknowledge that by clicking “SUBMIT” I agree to be contacted via telemarketing calls and/or SMS/MMS text messages via telephone, mobile device and/or email. By doing so I waive any registration to any state, federal or corporate Do Not Call registry. I understand that calls to me and from me may be recorded for quality assurance purposes. I agree to receive approximately 10 messages every month and understand message & data rates may apply. Case results vary and are specific to each applicant qualifications. Call for complete details.

Table of Contents


 The simple answer is no. A business and a person are completely separate, thus, any personal tax debts or liabilities should not affect your business.

Tax debt can be an exhausting and complicated thing to deal with on your own. Communicating with the IRS and professionally handling your tax liabilities are just two of the services companies like Priority Tax Relief can offer.

No. The IRS’s Innocent Spouse Relief protects you from paying these additional taxes. However, this does not relieve you from household employment taxes, business taxes, individual joint responsibility payments etc. Priority Tax Relief helps you learn more about innocent spouse relief.

The most popular option to date would be an Offer In Compromise (OIC). At Priority Tax Relief, we help tax relief help become more accessible to taxpayers in need and help them understand how they can qualify for these options.

IRS tax liens are legal claims on your property when you do not settle your tax debts. The IRS usually sends out a notice when no payment has been made after a liability assessment. Find out more about tax liens with Priority Tax Relief.

Yes. Not only can the IRS put a claim on all your current property, tax liens can also affect any property or intangible or tangible assets that you obtain in the future. At Priority Tax Relief, we help you understand federal tax liens and how to communicate with the IRS.


Tax levies are the actual seizure of your property and are different from legal claims or tax liens. Settle your taxes before the IRS sends out a notice. Priority Tax Relief helps you understand tax levies and how you can avoid them.

Yes. Not only can they seize physical property but they can also legally take hold of the money in your bank account and other wages. To avoid this from happening, contact Priority Tax Relief now.

Your debt will, unfortunately, continue to grow and you will possibly lose a great number of your assets. It is definitely a scenario we do not wish to see happen to anyone, that’s why Priority Tax Relief makes sure that our help becomes within reach.

Need expert help? Looking to get back on track?