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March 12, 2010
Employers, Employees and Tax Levies 101

In a BLR webinar presentation entitled ‘Payroll: How to Legally Handle Tax Levies and Garnishments’, Attorneys Clint Robison and Amy Jensen discussed tax levies and roles of the employer and employee regarding tax levies. The following are important points focusing on the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the employer and the employee regarding tax levies:

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  • Employers are required to comply with IRS instructions and levy the employee’s wages
  • Many states have laws that require any deductions from an employee’s paycheck be authorized by law or authorized in writing by the employee
  • Technically, in the case of tax levies that are authorized by law, employee consent is not required
  • However, it is good employer practice to notify or speak with the employee regarding the tax levy or garnishment
  • The employer can give the employee detailed information about their tax levy or garnishment such as the garnishment or levy coming through, when it will be processed, how it will be processed and when the deductions will be expected to occur with respect to wages
  • Usually, the employer is also available to answer any of the employee’s questions about the wages
  • The employer is merely an intermediary or a conduit and has absolutely no power to change the levy or not comply with it

Clint Robinson and Amy Jensen are lawyers with Hinshaw & Culbertson, one of the largest and oldest law firms in the country. Clint Robison is a highly regarded employment attorney providing counseling and litigation services to public and private companies. He is a partner in the firm’s Los Angeles Office. Clint Robinson can be reached at More information about the law firm can be located at

Amy Jensen is a senior employment attorney in the firm's Los Angeles Office, who provides counseling and litigation services to a variety of companies, including restaurant, retail, manufacturing, and financial companies. Amy Jensen can be reached at

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