Under U.S. federal tax law, a garnishment by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is a form of administrative levy. In the case of an IRS levy, no court order is required.
Only a few requirements must be met before the IRS starts a wage garnishment:
The IRS may serve the Final Notice in person, may leave the notice at the taxpayers home or usual place of business, or may send it to the last known address by certified or registered mail.
The IRS is required to send the Final Notice to the last address known to the agency. The taxpayer does not need to actually receive the notice for the notice to be effective.
Many taxpayers never actually receive the final notice. Those taxpayers may not realize they are in danger of receiving a levy until their wages are actually garnished.