The Football League have confirmed Plymouth have been deducted 10 points with immediate effect.
The confirmation comes via a statement on the Football League's official website after the Pilgrims issued a 'Notice of Intention' to appoint an administrator earlier on Wednesday.
The statement read: "The Football League can confirm that Plymouth Argyle Football Club have been deducted 10 points with immediate effect.
"This sporting sanction has been implemented following receipt of formal confirmation that the club had filed a notice of intention to appoint an administrator with the High Court.''
The League One club have faced winding-up orders this season and it was revealed last week that players and staff have still not been paid their wages for January.
The Pilgrims now face an uphill battle to avoid relegation to League Two, having moved from 19th place to 24th place in League One, rock-bottom of the division and ten points adrift of safety.
Manager Peter Reid said: "We are going to have to produce Championship form to stay up. It's going to be a battle, I don't mind a battle. There are people worse off than us, we have to get on with it.''
Deputy chairman Paul Stapleton issued the following statement: ''This action [appointing an adminstrator] gives the club protection from insolvency action from creditors, whilst at the same time allowing the directors the opportunity to turn current expressions of interest into a permanent and lasting solution for the club.
''This action does not mean that the club is in administration nor does it assume that it will necessarily enter into administration at a future date. Further steps will depend upon the outcome of current discussions with potential investors."
''Under current Football League rules and despite the fact that the action taken is not administration, Plymouth Argyle Football Club will be subject to a 10-point penalty under the league's Sporting Sanctions rule.
''To allow the best options for the way forward to be independently assessed, David Hinchliffe from Walker Morris Solicitors has been appointed to work with Peter Ridsdale, who will, for the time being, continue to act as an independent advisor to the board.''
Blackpool manager Ian Holloway offered his sympathy to Plymouth and their boss Peter Reid on hearing the news.
Holloway spent 17 months in charge of Argyle between 2006 and 2007, and said: "It breaks my heart to think that Plymouth could be wound up. Their supporters don't deserve that - what have they done?
"You have got to look at the management of it, the money that was brought in, how it has been spent and whether players have given value for money. Unfortunately it doesn't look like they have.
"I feel sorry for Peter Reid - I think he has had no chance whatsoever. He is a great fella and it is a great club. I felt that at the time I was there and unfortunately in my business, sometimes you have to leave.
"Was it right? No. Did I get that wrong? Yes, I did. But do I want to see them go under? Absolutely no way. I've got some fantastic friends who are Plymouth Argyle through-and-through who I am still in contact with and part of me will always be there as well.''