What Is a State Tax Warrant?

By Mary Jane Freeman
Failing to pay your taxes on time can result in a lien on your property.

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If you fail to pay your state taxes or resolve the past due balance within a reasonable time, the tax bureau in your state likely will issue a tax warrant in your name. This not only creates a public record of the tax debt, but also creates a lien on your real and personal property, such as cars, homes and cash in your bank accounts. The tax warrant typically is filed in every county where you have property.

Consequences of Tax Warrant

Although being hit with a tax warrant will not result in your arrest, it is likely to show up on your credit report and title searches, in local newspapers and business journals, and on the tax bureau's website. This is in addition to potential property loss. You also can have your wages garnished, your property seized and sold at public auction, and bank accounts levied. Interest, penalties and collection costs also are added on to your original tax debt. The way to avoid a tax warrant is to contact the state and resolve any outstanding tax balances as soon as possible. If a tax warrant already exists, the state will remove the lien once the tax bill is paid in full.

About the Author

Based on the West Coast, Mary Jane Freeman has been writing professionally since 1994, specializing in the topics of business and law. Freeman's work has appeared in a variety of publications, including LegalZoom, Essence, Reuters and Chicago Sun-Times. Freeman holds a Master of Science in public policy and management and Juris Doctor. Freeman is self-employed and works as a policy analyst and legal consultant.

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