A hardship modification allows qualifying taxpayers to reduce a current garnishment if it creates a hardship. A hardship exists if the garnishment prevents the taxpayer from meeting necessary living expenses.

Upon approval, a hardship could lower the percentage of wages garnished per pay period or allow a release of the garnishment in exchange for an installment agreement.

A hardship cannot:

  • Delay or cancel collection actions;
  • Avoid or abate existing tax liabilities; or
  • Release a lien.

A hardship may be denied if:

  • The taxpayer fails to make full financial disclosure, including household income;
  • The taxpayer submits false or misleading information;
  • The taxpayer has not fully filed all tax types; or
  • The taxpayer has repeated noncompliance or attempts to avoid paying tax obligations.

Professional assistance is not required, but taxpayers are welcome to seek tax assistance from a tax professional if they choose.

When you submit a completed application with all necessary supporting documentation, the Department will determine whether you are able to meet all necessary living expenses if the garnishment continues without modification. If you cannot, the Department will notify you of your options.

If the hardship is approved, a modification of garnishment will be mailed to the taxpayer and the garnishee; and will be filed with the Circuit Court Clerk.

If the hardship is denied, the Department will contact the taxpayer to inform the taxpayer why it was denied, as well as mail a letter to the taxpayer’s address on file.

If you still have questions, please check out other Individual Income Tax FAQs.