What Is a Tax Warrant in NY? How to Resolve New York Tax Liens
The New York Department of Taxation and Finance (NYS DTF) can file a tax warrant against you if you have delinquent income tax, sales tax, or other New York State taxes. This is the first collection action taken by the state, and it creates the legal pathway for the NYS DTF to seize your wages, bank accounts, and property.
If New York State has threatened to issue a warrant or a tax warrant has already been filed, you should consider contacting a NY tax attorney for help. To get help now, contact the Timothy S. Hart Law Group, P.C. today.
What is a Tax Warrant in NY?
A New York tax warrant is the state’s legal claim to your assets. It creates a lien against your personal and real property, and it gives the state the right to seize your wages, other income, and assets.
When the New York tax department issues a warrant, it goes to the county clerk’s office in any county where you own property, and it also goes to the NY Department of State.
Consequences of a NY State Tax Warrant
A tax warrant gives the New York Department of Taxation and Finance the right to:
- Seize your real or personal property.
- Garnish your wages or other income.
- Publish your name and tax debt in the New York State tax warrant search directory.
Additionally, a tax warrant makes it very hard to sell or borrow against your assets. Even if the tax warrant doesn’t appear on your credit report, lenders will find it when they do a public records search, and they will not approve your loan if you have an outstanding state tax warrant.
How Unpaid Taxes Lead to Tax Warrants in New York
If you owe state taxes, the NYS DTF will send you a notice of the tax debt. This can happen if the state assesses a tax against you or you file a tax return and don’t pay. The state can file a tax warrant against you if you don’t take action to address the taxes owed.
The NYS DTF will not send you a special notification before filing the tax warrant. Instead, the agency will simply send you a notice of the tax debt with instructions on how to pay it. If you don’t respond by the due date, the department will file a tax warrant and send you a copy.
At this point, you have a very limited amount of time to pay the taxes before the state pursues additional collection actions against you. This may include wage garnishment, seizing your bank or retirement accounts, or taking your assets.
Are NYS Tax Warrants the Same as New York Tax Liens?
A tax warrant and a tax lien play the same role. They both create a lien against your assets. New York and many other states use the term “tax warrant” while the IRS and the remaining states use the phrase “tax lien.”
If someone refers to your warrant using the phrase “New York tax liens,” they are talking about the same thing. Most of the correspondence from the NYS DTF will say tax warrants rather than tax liens.
What to Do If You Have a Tax Warrant in New York
To get a tax warrant removed, you need to pay the full warranted balance. This is typically your state tax debt plus interest, penalties, and costs related to filing the warrant.
If you cannot afford to pay the tax liability in full, you can apply for a payment plan. If you set up monthly payments on your tax debt, the NYS tax department won’t remove the warrant, but the agency will not pursue collection actions against you.
To put it another way, if you make monthly payments, the warrant will continue to exist, but the state will not try to seize your real and personal property or garnish your wages. Contact a tax warrant attorney to learn more about your options.
How to Get Proof That You Paid the New York State Tax Warrant
Once you pay the tax warrant, the NYS tax department can issue you a pending warrant satisfaction. To get this, you must pay the warranted balance in guaranteed funds, such as with a credit card or a money order. Most lenders will accept the pending warrant satisfaction as proof that the lien has been satisfied. Once a warrant satisfaction has been filed with the county clerk’s office, the state will give you a Satisfaction of Judgment.
Getting a Loan When You Have a Tax Warrant in New York
Often taxpayers take out loans against their real and personal property so they can pay off their tax bills. This lets you pay off your tax debt without being forced to sell property or go into credit card debt. But how do you get a loan when there is a warrant against you?
In this case, you need to contact New York State and ask if they will subordinate the loan. Generally, as long as you convince the state that the loan is to pay the tax bill, NYS DTF will agree to subordinate the loan to the lender’s loan. This just means that the NYS DTF agrees to let the lender’s lien take priority over the NYS tax warrant.
FAQs About Tax Warrants in New York State
Here are some answers to commonly asked questions we hear from clients who are worried about an NYS tax warrant.
1. What if I ignore a New York tax warrant?
If you ignore a tax warrant, you allow the state to pursue collection actions against you. This may include wage garnishments and asset seizures. Additionally, while the warrant is in place, the state has a legal claim to your assets, and if you sell your assets, the proceeds (up to the amount of the tax liability plus interest and penalties) will go to the state.
2. Can you go to jail for a tax warrant?
No, a tax warrant is not a warrant for your arrest. It is similar to a civil judgment against you, and it creates a lien against your assets.
3. Can I get a loan if I have an outstanding NY tax warrant?
In most cases, lenders will not give you a loan if there is a tax warrant against you. The warrant is a public record so lenders will be able to find it, even if it doesn’t appear on your credit report. However, you may be able to get loans if you convince the state to subordinate its lien to the lender’s lien. A tax attorney can help with this.
4. When do New York State tax warrants expire?
When the New York Department of Taxation and Finance files tax warrants, they stay in place for 20 years. New York has a longer period of time to collect tax debts than the IRS and many state revenue agencies.
5. Can I move out of state to escape a NY tax warrant?
Once the warrant has been filed, it will continue to exist regardless of where you live. If you move, the tax warrant will follow you.
Get Help With Your NY Back Taxes
Don’t let your state tax bill turn into a tax nightmare. Ignoring your NYS tax debt opens the door to many potential issues, including tax warrants, asset seizures, and wage garnishments.
A tax warrant can hurt you financially, but you have options. When you contact us, we can help you find the best tax relief option for your New York and IRS tax debts. We have worked with many satisfied clients in the past, and we would love to help you.
Let’s start with a free consultation to talk about resolving your tax bill. Don’t wait — contact us today. We can give you the personalized services and attention you deserve while taking care of your tax problems.