If you don't pay your taxes, make acceptable payment arrangements, or make the payments you agreed to, we will take action to collect the money you owe. This action may include:
- Filing a tax lien against your property in the county lien record. A tax lien is the public notice of debt that attaches to your property and your rights to property. Once filed, it's a public record and may harm your credit rating.
- Garnishing your wages, bank account, or other contractual payments. Certain income, such as Social Security or disability payments, is protected from garnishment. Please contact us immediately if you think you might have protected income to ensure we don't accidentally garnish that income.
- Seizing and selling real or personal property you own or have interest in. We won't seize your primary residence.
You may receive several letters from us throughout the collections process:
- Assessment notice: We send you this letter if you have unpaid taxes.
- Demand for payment: This is the second request for full payment of taxes owed.
- Distraint warrant: This is not a warrant for your arrest. Rather, it's a legal document that establishes our right to collect the tax debt from you.
- Federal offset letter: If you have tax debt, your federal tax refund or certain federal payments may be sent to us to apply to your debt. Some federal payments, such as Social Security, are protected from offset and won't be sent to us.
Interest and penalties
Penalties and interest are charged for not paying your tax by the due date or for filing your tax return late. You have the right to ask us to waive certain penalties. Contact us for more information.
If you can't pay your taxes
If you can't pay your taxes, you may qualify for one of our programs:
Under certain conditions, you may be eligible for a settlement offer. You'll need to provide detailed financial information to us for an evaluation. You'll also need to make a nonrefundable, good faith payment of 5 percent of your offer to be considered. Read more about settlement offers.
What you should do next
Call us to discuss your tax debt as soon as possible. You'll need the following:
- Your Social Security number or tax identification number.
- Your debit or credit card, if you want to make a payment over the phone.
- Information about your sources of income, bank accounts, and expenses if you want to set up a payment plan.
If we contact you, it's important that you
respond promptly. If you don't respond, we may take
additional collection action, as required by statute.
If you want someone else to call us on your behalf, you need to submit a Tax Information Authorization and Power of Attorney form. We can't discuss your account with anyone other than you without this authorization.