If you have an unpaid tax bill, you should pay it in full immediately to avoid accruing additional penalties and interest. If you can't pay in full, you may be able to set up a payment plan.

If you do not resolve your tax bills on time, we may proceed with collections actions, such as wage liens and bank liens.

Virginia Tax initiates most collections actions through regular mail delivered by the United States Postal Service. However, in some circumstances, we will call you to resolve an unpaid tax bill. We’ll mail letters to the address we have for you on file first. See Taxpayer Alerts for more information on protecting yourself from identity theft and fraud.

Virginia Tax also works with outside agencies who may reach out to you during the collections process: 

Outside Agencies: 

Once your account has been transferred to one of these outside agencies, you will work directly with them to address any questions you may have, discuss payment options, and resolve your account.

For more information about the collections process, and your specific rights throughout the process, see our Taxpayer Bill of Rights.

Wage Liens

A wage lien is a garnishment against your wages, salaries, or commissions used to pay your past-due tax bills.

  • We’ll ask your employer to withhold 100% of your net wages to pay your debts.
  • Your employer will continue to garnish your wages until the balance is paid in full (including penalties and interest). 
  • You can review your balance and payment history, and make additional payments using your online services account.

Bank or Other Institution Liens

A lien is a garnishment against bank accounts and certain investments accounts of an individual or entity for assessments and/or tax liens due to Virginia Tax.

  • We’ll ask your bank or financial institution to hold any assets you have in an account, including interest, rent, or other funds. 
  • The bank or institution is required by law to send us all amounts up to the total balance due.

Exempted Funds

Certain property or funds are exempt from the lien process by law. These can include:

  • Federally protected benefits, like Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) (42 U.S.C. §407), Veterans’ benefits (38 U.S.C. §3101), Longshoremen and Harborworkers Compensation Act benefits (33 U.S.C. §916), and Federal civil service retirement benefits (5 U.S.C. §8346)
  • Black lung benefits
  • Unemployment compensation benefits (§60.2-600, Code of Virginia)
  • Public assistance payments (§63.2-506, Code of Virginia)
  • Worker’s compensation (§65.2-531, Code of Virginia)
  • Child support payments (§20-108.1, Code of Virginia)
  • COVID-19 relief payments or loans

Contact us if you believe you have exempted funds affected by a lien. Identify the exemption you are claiming and explain why you believe that you qualify for the exemption. Attach additional pages if needed along with documents to support your claim for exemption. Return this information by email, fax, or mail.

Memorandum of Lien

If a tax bill goes unpaid after prior attempts at collection, we may file a Memorandum of Lien in 1 or more Circuit Courts.

  • A Memorandum of Lien has the same effect as a judgment in our favor. 
  • It is a matter of public record, and may adversely affect your credit, your ability to purchase items such as an automobile or home, or your ability to obtain employment. 
  • The recorded document will remain in force for 20 years, or until you pay the liabilities in full. 


If you feel that the lien creates an undue hardship, we may be able to adjust the terms based on your circumstances.

  • To be eligible, you must have filed your taxes for the last 3 years. 
  • To request consideration, complete a financial statement.
  • Send it to us by email, fax, or mail with your account number, collection ID, and all required documentation.

Visits to Your Business - Field Collections

We generally will not visit your home unless you are operating a home-based business. We visit businesses during normal business hours, and will always present an official photo ID identifying ourselves as an employee of Virginia Tax.

For more about what to expect when working with a Virginia Tax field agent, see our Statement of Expectations: 


You can log into your individual online services account to see detailed billing and account information:

  • Check your balance
  • View your payment history
  • See detailed bill information
  • Make additional payments
  • Set up a payment plan

You may also call our Customer Service Contact Center to request a Consolidated Bill Notice.