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Common Myths About the IRS: The IRS can’t touch my Social Security

Myth: The IRS can't touch my Social Security.

Answer: Yes. The IRS can take your Social Security to satisfy a tax debt.

If you owe money to the IRS, and you are receiving Social Security benefits due to:

  • Federal Old-Age and Survivors Trust Fund (or)
  • Disability Insurance Benefits

The IRS can take 15% of your Social Security payments to satisfy your tax debt. Prior to 1996, there was a $750/month "off limits" amount that had to be left for the Social Security recipient. However, that changed with the introduction of the Federal Payment Levy Program, which allowed for 15% of the total monthly payment to be collected regardless of the amount.