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Lev, Tax Advisor
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 29523
Experience:  Taxes, Immigration, Labor Relations
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tax withholding order

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if the state of california issues an order to withhold unpaid taxes from my paycheck, is that considered a tax lien and/or tax judgment? it's important because I work for a financial services firm, and failed to report this on my employee disclosure, not knowing it was a reportable event. if it's a lien/judgment, it is reportable, but the earnings w/h order does not have any wording that would indicate it amounts to a lien on anything.
Hi and welcome to Just Answer!
if the state of California issues an order to withhold unpaid taxes -
that is not a lien - that is a levy.

A tax lien is a legal claim against your property when you neglect or fail to pay a tax debt. The lien protects the government’s interest in all your property, including real estate, personal property and financial assets.
A lien is not a levy.
A levy actually takes the property to pay the tax debt. If you don’t pay or make arrangements to settle your tax debt, the state can levy, seize and sell any type of real or personal property that you own or have an interest in.
The state tax debt may be collected without the judgment.
Based on your information - the state levies your wages.
The state may levy your wages, bank accounts, Social Security benefits, and retirement income. The state also may seize any of your property for the purpose of selling the property to satisfy a tax debt including your car, boat, or real estate. In addition, any future federal tax refunds or state income tax refunds that you are owed, may be applied to your tax liability.

The levy is reported on your credit report.
Let me know if you need any help.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.



I think this is the answer I was looking for, but let me clarify one thing - the disclosure form refers to "liens or judgments". It's clear to me now that the levy is not a lien, but could it be considered a "judgment"? I did find an online source that said liens and judgments are the same thing, but what do you think?


and by the way, the state withholding form refers to itself as a "levy", just like you said.

A sheriff or other officer of the law can be ordered by a court to make a levy against any property not entitled to an exemption.
There is no need a court order for the tax levy - the state ordered the tax levy administratively.
Lev and other Tax Specialists are ready to help you

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