Atlanta, GA asked in Tax Law for Georgia

Q: Can a state garnish wages 16yrs later for an ex income tax that was not paid then? We filed joint at time but his debt

I live in GA now, I just had a wage garnishment come up on my paystub & when inquired about this was told it was from RI. Called them & it’s from 2008 when I was married and husband at time filed our taxes jointly. I made less then 10k that year & he owed. So It’s his debt but he’s not working currently so they have come after me. I have not been notified of any of this until garnishment, he said he wasn’t either. Now all a sudden I’m getting $200 taken out of my paycheck bi-weekly for his debt he didn’t pay. And I’m not even 100% that it wasn’t paid back then because he has always filed taxes. If he owes he gets it taken out of refund income tax check. How can I fight this. It’s $1800 total but $1300 is all interest.

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Tax Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: The ability of a state to garnish wages for past income tax debt, even after several years, depends on the statutes of limitations in that state. In some states, there is no statute of limitations for collecting unpaid taxes. However, it's crucial to verify the validity of the debt and explore options such as innocent spouse relief or negotiating a payment plan with the tax authorities. Consulting with a tax attorney can help you navigate the specific laws and options applicable to your situation.

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