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Department of Taxation and Finance


A levy is a legal order requiring a third party to turn your money over to New York State to pay taxes you owe.  A tax warrant must be filed before we issue a levy.

What happens - A levy requires a third party (like a bank) to remove money from your account and send it to us.  A levy can also apply to money someone owes you, like a loan or rent.

Certain money is exempt from being sent to pay the levy

  • Examples of exempt funds
    • social security and supplemental security income
    • public assistance (welfare)
    • alimony or child support
    • benefits like unemployment, disability, workers compensation
    • public or private pensions

Shared debts - If two people are responsible for the same tax bill, they can both be ordered to pay with a levy.

How to remove all or part of a levy

  • pay the bill in full
  • document the funds are exempt (we do not intentionally levy exempt funds and we will work with you to resolve the levy quickly in the event exempt funds are affected).

Your rights - It is important for you to understand your rights during the collection process. We encourage questions at any time. You may call the number provided in your notice.

You may have someone represent you - Most taxpayers resolve their differences with us on their own. If you prefer to authorize someone such as a tax preparer or family member, to work with us, they will need to file an appropriate form. See Power of attorney and other authorizations to find the appropriate form.

To ask questions or pay a bill

  • call the number on the notice you received
  • if you do not have your notice, call 518-457-5893
    • enter the taxpayer ID number
      • For income tax, this is your social security number, and for businesses it's generally your federal employer identification number

Bankruptcy and levies - We stop collection against people who file for bankruptcy. You may continue to receive statements of your tax liabilities. If you have questions on how your bankruptcy affects the levy, call 518-457-3160.