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Can I set up a payment plan for a NYS tax warrent/lien I got in the mail today?

Highland, NY |

My husband and I ammended our 09 and 10 taxes and filed out 2011 ones in October. I was told to wait two months to ensure they were recieved and set up a payment play for the amount owed. I neglected to do this and recieved a NYS tax warrent/lien today. I would like to set up a payment plan. Can I still do this? I can't call until Tuesday when they open back up and I'm hystricle thining they are going to garnish my husbsnds check or come take our belonginings. I would love to pay off everything we owe but I'm not able to all at once. We only have one income and money is already tight. If I offerend $120 a month until the money is repayed will that stop the lien or prevent them from garnishing wages? This is the first notice I've gotten. Please help.

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Attorney answers 3


Yes. See response to prior post.

Evan A. Nielsen is licensed to practice law in California and handles federal tax matters throughout the U.S. The information provided here is for educational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice for a particular matter. This response does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, please consult an attorney.



Didn't realize it posted twice. Sorry. Thx for the answer


You can still set up a payment plan with New York State. They will almost certainly require that you set up a direct debit plan so the money comes directly out of your checking account each month, but you should be able to set up a payment plan.

Additionally, while there are no guarantees, it is unlikely that New York would start garnishing your husband's pay right now if they've only just filed a tax warrant for the unpaid taxes. A tax warrant is basically just a public document that tells the world you owe taxes - sort of like a mechanic's lien says you owe a contractor money for work done - but doesn't by itself start enforced collection actions like garnishment. NY is therefore very, very unlikely to start trying to garnish your husband's wages before you can call them on Tuesday to try and get an installment plan set up.

In terms of whether they would accept $120 a month, I cannot speak to that or whether they would give you an installment plan for that amount since there are too many other factors that go into determining the actual amount of the payment including, most importantly, how much tax is owed.

If it's going to take a few years for you to fully pay the back taxes with a payment of $120 a month, you should have copies of your husband's W2 and most recent paystubs (3 months' worth would be good), a copy of your last rent bill or mortgage bill, your car payment (if you have one) and your major bills (including credit card bills) in order to show how much money you have left over at the end of each month after paying your basic living expenses (credit card payments are generally not fully taken into account, but if the minimum payment isn't enormous, they will sometimes take it into account in determining how much money you'd have left at the end of the month on the theory that if they forced you to pay them before you made the minimum payments on the credit cards, they'd be making it less likely that you would be financially able to fully pay the taxes rather than more likely. That being said, be prepared to meet some resistance to having your credit card minimum payments taken into account, and to even have them not taken into account at all).

My answer does not constitute legal advice and may not be relied upon by anyone for any purpose and does not constitute an attorney/client relationship or an offer to form such a relationship. This disclaimer is intended to be fully compliant with the requirements of Treasury Department Circular 230 and the terms thereof are fully incorporated by reference. If you wish to consult with me please contact me at dwatchley@newyorktaxcounsel or visit my website at



He is self employeed and doesn't get a W2. He gets a 1099. No stubs each month that he gets paid. We can print out the direct deposit sent.

Dana Whitney Atchley

Dana Whitney Atchley


In that case you should get copies of your bank account statements for at least the past 3 months.


You don't state the amount of the tax warrant/lien. New York State's willingness to accept a payment of only $120 per month will turn on how much you owe and how much you can afford to pay. If you can demonstrate to NYS that you only have $120 available each month, you may be able to get them to agree. As Dana Atchley pointed out, you would have to produce all of your financial back-up information to show your monthly income and expenses.

NYS can garnish your husband's wages, but they usually will not get around to doing this for a few months. They are more likely to hit your bank accounts with a levy. If a garnishment is filed, its important to know that they can only execute against 10% of your husband's wages. When I am negotiating with NYS, I like to tell the individual I am working out a payment plan with what the maximum amount is that they could get if they went forward with a garnishment. If you are offering a comparable amount of money on a payment plan, there is no good reason for them not to accept it.

Another thing that is helpful to understand is that NYS will send an "income execution notice" to your husband. If he voluntarily pays then a garnishment will not be sent to the employer directly.

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