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Jax Tax
Jax Tax, Tax Attorney
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 1408
Experience:  JD, LL.M in Business and Taxation, IRS Enrolled Agent. Expert in Business and Tax Transactions
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Can the Massachusetts DOR enforce a wage levy for alleged unpaid

Customer Question

Can the Massachusetts DOR enforce a wage levy for alleged unpaid income taxes on an out of state employer (I.E. - employee works and is paid in another state and employer is not in Massachusetts)? If the answer is no, can you supply me with a statutory, regulatory or court opinion that makes this answer clear?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  Jax Tax replied 6 years ago.
The MA DOR does have the power to levy for taxes. This ability extends beyond its border, but it is not the law of MA that allow this. It is the laws of the state you are in. Many states reciprocate. MA does allow other states to levy in MA.

Now. I cannot answer your question because I do not know what state you are in, but I would say that they allow it. I can check if you give me the other state.

Most states have adopted an agreement similar to the Federal one here. The Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
The levy is taking place on employment in the State of Connecticut. The employer is an Illinois corporation. The levy was served on them in Illinois. The wages are paid from an Illinois bank account.
Expert:  Jax Tax replied 6 years ago.
They are doing business in Conn and are located in Illinois so they have to follow the laws of both. I do know they can levy but I am not sure without a warrant MA would levy in those states. It will take some time to give you statutes but it can legally be done.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
There is no warrant, simply a "Notice of Levy" mailed to the corporation in Illinois. I am attempting to find the section in 31 USC 3720, et sec (the Act you cited) that might permit it but so far I haven't found it. I really need something in the CT or IL law that shows they have a compact with MA, or not, and be able to report that to the employer. So, if you can find that within the next day or two that would be great.
Expert:  Jax Tax replied 6 years ago.
The link a gave you is federal. It was just a sample of a reciprocal agreement. I will get you the state cite.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
thank you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Hello. Last Friday you indicated that you would be sending me a state cite for the authority that allowed Massachusetts DOR to levy on salary earned in Connecticut paid out by an Illinois corporation. As of today I have still not received that information. If there is no authority for such action that would be fine, just let me know so that I can let the empyloer know. Thank you.
Expert:  Jax Tax replied 6 years ago.
From the research that I have done, it appears that the MA DOR has the authority to garnish wages by execution of a writ of garnishment. This is an order of court and court orders are in fact upheld by other states. I cannot find a particular cite that speaks to their ability to garnish for taxes specifically, but like most court orders in general, they do cross state lines. This is as much information that I can give you on this topic. I do know from practice it can be done.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
If indeed it was a court ordered Writ of Ganishment, I would have to agree that it could be enforced in another state by a court of competent juristiction. However, since we are NOT dealing with a court or, but rather an administrative agency action, I am not sure that the same theory applies. Since neither of our research can find legal support for such administrative action (on the state level), aside from commonly accepted unchallenged practice, I am led to believe that there is no legal authority for such action. Do you still disagree with this logic now that you know it is not a court order?