The IRS can collect money you owe them by issuing a garnishment on your paycheck. A garnishment is basically a levy that requires your employer to collect a large portion of your paycheck and pay it straight to the IRS until your tax debt is paid off.
Your best chance of avoiding garnishment is to respond immediately when the IRS contacts you. Before they can garnish any wages, the IRS will send a final notice 45 days before taking action. Also, it is important to know that the IRS can garnish your wages months or years after sending you the Final Notice. The best thing you can do when you get a Final Notice is act immediately.
If the IRS does issue a garnishment on your paycheck, you can find out if you qualify for tax relief through an Offer in Compromise, Installment Agreement or Currently Not Collectible status. Act as quickly as possible, because even you get a garnishment released, the IRS will not give back money that they have already collected.