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A garnishment is one method the Delaware Division of Revenue uses to collect tax that you have not paid voluntarily. It means we can, by legal authority, take property to satisfy a tax debt. Garnishments can be made on property that you hold (such as your vehicle, boat or house) or on property that is yours, but is held by third parties (such as wages or funds on deposit at a bank).

For example, the Division of Revenue may attach your wages (salary), commissions, the cash value of life insurance, licenses, or franchises, securities, contracts, demand notes, accounts receivable, rental income, dividends, retirement accounts, etc.

A garnishment is different from a judgment. A judgment is a claim used as security to the tax debt.

Authority to Garnish

The Division of Revenue does need court authorization to take garnishment action. Generally, before the Division of Revenue takes garnishment action, 3 legal requirements must be met:

  1. The Division of Revenue must assess the tax and send you A “Notice and Demand” for payment;
  2. You must neglect or refuse to pay the tax; and
  3. The Division of Revenue must file a Notice of judgment in Delaware Superior court at least 10 days in advance of the garnishment.

We may give you this notice in person, leave it at your dwelling or usual place of business, or send it by certified or registered mail to your last known address.

Caution: If we conclude that collection of your tax is threatened, we may take immediate collection action before all 3 requirements have been met. For example, if a taxpayer is planning to quickly leave the country, we may believe that collection is threatened or in jeopardy.

If we make a decision that collection of your tax is threatened or in jeopardy, you may seek the Division of Revenue managerial review. These procedures are explained in the letter you will receive when the demand for payment is made.

Garnishment on Wages

If the Division of Revenue attaches your salary or wages, the attachment will end when one of the following occurs:

  1. You pay your tax debt in full; or
  2. The time expires for legally collecting the tax.

If we attach your salary or wages, contact the specific person or call the telephone number listed on the Notice of Garnishment for assistance

Levy on Your Bank Account

If the Division of Revenue attaches your bank account, your bank is required to hold funds you have on deposit, up to the amount you owe for 20 days. This period allows you time to resolve any problems about the garnishment or make other arrangements to pay. The bank is then required to send the money, plus penalty and interest if it applies, to the Division of Revenue.

To discuss your account, you should contact the Division of Revenue by calling the person whose name is shown on the Notice of Garnishment.

Example/Instructions for Bank Levy

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