Garnish my wages??

I am in a dispute with my county tax board. Recently they threatened to “garnish” my wages. Garnish? What are they going to do, staple a sprig of parsley to my paycheck?

First of all, they’re going to garnishee your wages. Although, believe it or not, it has the same root (embellishment) as garnish, garnishment is “the stoppage of a specified sum from wages to satisfy a creditor.”

The letter says garnish. Not “garnishee”. Anyway, it’s a moot point, I’m self-employed and don’t get a paycheck.

Well, then, they can’t spell garnishee. Bad news is, paycheck or no paycheck, you’re still liable. Depending on the law in your state, creditors (possibly including the tax board) can go after the clients and banks of self-employed debtors using a writ of garnishment.

Hmm…my dictionary says “garnish” is an acceptable spelling for that word. I have never heard it referred to as anything but “garnishing one’s wages,” but I suppose in technical legal speak, it is garnishee.

Carry on…

In your case, they’re more likely to attempt to collect from you by either seizing capital equipment associated with your business or simply getting an order for all or part of the contents of your bank account(s).
The government has its ways, whether we like them or not.

Black’s Law Dictionary has “garnish” as the verb and “garnishee” as the person whose pay is being garnished. However, Merriam-Webster’s Third Unabridged does have “garnishee” as a verb. Huh – I’ve never heard it used that way.

What JW said.

Garnishing your wages is just one method of collection the court can impose to collect on debts. In your case, since you have no offical wages, they will go after other means of collecting their money (generally seizing assets).

You may wish they garnished your wages as I believe there is a maximum amount they are allowed to take by law (20%?) from each paycheck. If they go after your assets they’ll just keep taking thill the debt and penalties are paid.

I only owe them $89 dollars. :wink: I am objecting to the tax on principle.

I’m sorry to say the government doesn’t give a rat’s ass for your principles. If they allow one ‘conscientious objector’ to a tax slip through everyone will be clamoring for the same treatment and the government will go bust.

Your only hope is to take the county to court to show the tax is somehow unlawful. If it isn’t, no matter how much you don’t like or agree to it, you are obligated to pay it. Worse, they won’t likely stop at the $89. They’ll probbaly try to slap you with fines and the like for daring to contest their authority.

Unless you’re willing to go to court (assuming their is a basis to challenge the tax) you are best off just paying your $89. Not fair you say? Maybe not but all isn’t lost. If enough people feel as you do you can vote out the SOBs who voted in the tax and replace them with people who will repeal it. It’s the American way!

Dear gingersnap:

All companies hate it when they have to deal with an employee that has their wages garnished. Hence they have a very simple solution: fire the employee. If they contact your employer to set up the garnishment, you will probably be fired asap.

Have a nice day.

American Heritage Dictionary defines Garnish and Garnishee:


I’m sure that gingersnap would be shaking in his/her boots, except for the fact that as stated, they’re self employed. :smiley:

Oh, and re: “you can’t fight city hall” – sure you can, and many do. If you know you’re right, don’t be afraid to fight for it, and don’t let anyone tell you its not worth it for $89.00.

I can tell you first hand that the IRS can garnish 100% of your paycheck. Luckly for me, I only owed them one paychecks worth of money.

Oh well, I did owe them the money…

Oh, they can find another way to lien on him or her …

Notwithstanding the issue involves a self-employed individual in this thread …

Under what legal grounds can an employer fire an employee as a result of a garnishment action, assuming the employee has no bad employer-employee issues?