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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
REGARDING THIRD PARTY TAX LIENS
Why didn't the City of Chesapeake notify me that they sent the tax lien to my employer?
There are no provisions in the Code of Virginia that require a warning to the taxpayer. The Code of Virginia §58.1-3912 (see “Treasurer's Legal Authority Regarding Mailing of Bills” at the end of this document) addresses the mailing of bills. Prior to mailing the lien, the original tax bill and several delinquent notices are sent to the taxpayer. This gives the taxpayer the opportunity to pay or contact the Treasurer's Office to make acceptable payment arrangements.
There are two names on the tax bill, why did you come after me? I was just the co-signer.
All names that appear on the registration are equally liable for payment of taxes.
I thought the Treasurer's Office had to take me to court before it could garnish my wages?
This is not a garnishment; Code of Virginia §58.1-3952 (see “Treasurer's Legal Authority Regarding Liens” section at the end of this document) gives the Treasurer the authority to take such action without going through due process.
When does the lien need to be paid?
Upon receipt of the lien. The taxpayer's lien clearly states: “If you do not want your employer to deduct, you must pay immediately.” The employer must take deductions from the first pay period following receipt of the lien. Tax liens have an issue and return date. Some taxpayers incorrectly believe that they have until the return date to pay or that their employer can wait until the last pay period to deduct the amount owed.
What can I do to prevent my employer from deducting for this tax lien?
In order to prevent the employer from deducting the lien amount, the taxpayer must pay this amount immediately by cash, money order, or certified check.
When will my employer deduct this amount?
The employer should begin withholding on the next pay period after receipt of the tax lien. The taxpayer must contact their employer's payroll department to find out exactly when the deduction will begin.
How much will my employer deduct each pay period?
Employers should deduct 100% of the net pay from each paycheck until the lien is paid in full. If the taxpayer resigns and the employer did not withhold the full amount available from each paycheck, the employer can be held liable for payment.
After the lien has been issued to my employer, can I make payment arrangements?
Yes, however any amount agreed upon will have to be deducted by your employer. The taxpayer should provide the name and the fax number of their payroll department to the Treasurer's Office so that we can notify the employer of the correct amount to deduct per pay period.
Why can't I make the payments to the Treasurer's Office?
Once the lien has been issued, the payment must come directly from the employer.
I am an employer and the employee issued the tax lien is no longer employed by our company. What do I do?
On company letterhead or on the lien notice, indicate the date of termination, last known mailing address, any contact information, and the name and address of the former employee's new employer, if known. Fax or mail this information to the Treasurer's Office.
Treasurer's Legal Authority Regarding Liens
§ 58.1-3952. Collection out of estate in hands of or debts due by third party.
A. The treasurer or other tax collector of any county, city or town may apply in writing to any person indebted to or having in his hands estate of a taxpayer or other debtor for payment of taxes, or other charges collected by the treasurer, more than thirty days delinquent out of such debt or estate. Payment by such person of such taxes, penalties and interest, or other charges either in whole or in part, shall entitle him to a credit against such debt or estate. The taxes, penalties and interest, or other charges shall constitute a lien on the debt or estate due the taxpayer from the time the application is received. For each application served, the person applied to shall be entitled to a fee of twenty dollars which shall constitute a charge or credit against the debt to or estate of the debtor. The treasurer or collector shall send a copy of the application to the taxpayer or debtor, with a notice informing him of the remedies provided in this chapter.
Treasurer's Legal Authority Regarding Mailing of Bills
§ 58.1-3912. Treasurers to mail certain bills to taxpayers; penalties; electronic transmission.
A. The treasurer of every city and county shall, as soon as reasonably possible in each year, but not later than 14 days prior to the due date of the taxes, send or cause to be sent by United States mail to each taxpayer assessed with taxes and levies for that year a bill or bills setting forth the amounts due. The treasurer may elect not to send a bill amounting to $20 or less as shown by an assessment book in such treasurer's office. The treasurer may employ the services of a mailing service or other vendor for fulfilling the requirements of this section. The failure of any such treasurer to comply with this section shall be a Class 4 misdemeanor. Such treasurer shall be deemed in compliance with this section as to any taxes due on real estate if, upon certification by the obligee of any note or other evidence of debt secured by a mortgage or deed of trust on such real estate that an agreement has been made with the obligor in writing within the mortgage or deed of trust instrument that such arrangements be made, he mails the bill for such taxes to the obligee thereof. Upon nonpayment of taxes by either the obligee or obligor, a past-due tax bill will be sent to the taxpayer. No governing body shall publish the name of a taxpayer in connection with a tax debt for which a bill was not sent, without first sending a notice of deficiency to his last known address at least two weeks before such publication.