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Wage Garnishment

The Department of Revenue was authorized under Act 46 of 2003 to collect unpaid taxes by garnishing the wages of delinquent taxpayers. The department may garnish up to 10 percent of a delinquent taxpayer’s gross wages.

If taxpayers fail to resolve their tax liabilities, the department may require taxpayers’ employers to begin garnishing their wages and making payments to the commonwealth. The garnishment will continue until the tax, interest, penalties and legal fees are paid in full or until the employee leaves the employer's service.

Employers may retain up to 2 percent of the amount collected to compensate for costs of additional bookkeeping. However, employers that fail to properly withhold and remit the required amount will be assessed for the full amount of the tax and costs due, plus an additional penalty of 5 percent per month up to a maximum of 50 percent of the liability.

The department is not required to obtain a court order to begin garnishing wages. The department may garnish wages to collect any delinquent taxes due to the commonwealth, including those assessed against corporate officers.

Employer Responsibilities

  • Complete the Employer Certification (REV-842) and return to the department.
  • Withhold and remit garnishment payments to the department within three business days of the payment being withheld from the wages of the employee. An employer is not required to vary its normal pay cycles to comply with a Wage Garnishment Order.
  • Remittances must be submitted via e-TIDES, the department’s online system for business taxes. In the event the employer is not able to remit garnishment payments using e-TIDES, checks payable to the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue with the Garnishment Order Number on the memo line can be mailed to:

    PA Department of Revenue, Bureau of Compliance
    Attention: Wage Garnishment Section
    PO Box 280946
    Harrisburg, PA 17128

    NOTE: Garnishment payment instructions can be found on the e-TIDES website under Instructions > Taxes and Filings > Wage Garnishment

  • You are required to continue to make periodic deductions and remittances until you receive written notification from the department to cease, suspend, or modify such deductions
  • If the employee separates from your employment or is no longer employed by your company, you are to notify the department by completing the Employer Certification or by contacting the agent listed on the order.

Important Reminder

In order to avoid collection actions against the employer, the wage garnishment must be implemented within 60 days of the order. Continuing to pay the employee without garnishment will be a violation of the administrative order and shall make the employer personally liable for the sums released. The employer will also be subject to additional penalties.

Federal Law (see Tittle U.S.C. Section 1674) prohibits an employer from discharging an employee solely because the employer has been served with a single garnishment order in regard to an employee. Therefore, you are advised to seek legal counsel before instituting any discharge action against an employee who is the subject of an administrative wage garnishment order if that action is solely due to having to comply with a wage garnishment order.

Other Wage Garnishment Information

  • Gross wages for the purpose of wage garnishment for collectible state taxes is defined as wages, salary, commissions, bonuses, employer-controlled tips and employee stock options once exercised.
  • This Wage Garnishment Order should be paid before any other garnishment or withholding orders received subsequent to this one, except any child support order which may be paid first regardless of the date received.

How to Avoid Wage Garnishment

Pay the liability in full – pay the amount shown due on the notice now to avoid accruing additional interest. Payment can be made electronically on the department’s website at revenue.pa.gov/payment. Or you can make out a check payable to the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue. Mail the check to:

PA Department of Revenue, Bureau of Compliance
Attention: Wage Garnishment Section
PO Box 280946
Harrisburg, PA 17128.
Be sure include the GARNISHMENT ORDER NUMBER in memo of the payment

If you cannot pay the liability in full – establish a deferred payment plan by contacting the Bureau of Collections and Taxpayer Services at 717-783-3000.