Employer FAQ: (Taxpayers: click here)
Why have I received a “WAGE GARNISHMENT”?
You have received a wage garnishment from Berkheimer because the employee has failed to respond to inquiries, including a certified notice before wage garnishment, from us on the past due taxes/fees as listed on the wage garnishment. Due to this failure to respond by the taxpayer, Berkheimer has issued a wage garnishment to you, the employer, to deduct the requested taxes/fees from their pay.
What is a wage garnishment?
A wage garnishment is a request made by a tax collector or tax officer asking that an individual’s employer withhold a portion of the employee’s pay in order to satisfy a local tax delinquency which it has been unable to collect from the employee via other means. The use of Wage Garnishments for the collection of delinquent wage and personal taxes is authorized under Section 702 of the Local Tax Enabling Act (“LTEA”). The taxes that may be collected utilizing this process include: Earned Income, Local Service, Occupation Assessment and Per Capita.
How much of my employee’s pay am I allowed to take each week?
Under the LTEA an employer is permitted to withhold up to 10% of the gross wages, commissions or earnings of the employee for local taxes now due, or which hereafter become due, until such time that the listed balance is paid in full. The funds that are collected can be remitted to the tax collector immediately after withholding or on a monthly basis.
If the employee is experiencing a financial hardship, you may withhold less than 10%, but never more than 10% of their gross wages, commissions or earnings.
The wage garnishment notice I received for my employee states that the amount owed is for their spouse, is this legal?
Yes, Section 702 of the LTEA does allow for a tax collector or tax officer to request that an employer withhold the amounts due from an employee’s pay for taxes that remain unpaid by their spouse. The filing of a wage garnishment against a spouse is normally utilized after all other efforts to collect upon the debt have been utilized by the collector. If the amounts owed are for a former spouse, the taxpayer must provide our office with a copy of the divorce decree to have the wage garnishment withdrawn.
What should the employee do if they feel they do not owe the taxes that are shown due on the wage garnishment?
If the employee feels that the wage garnishment has been sent in error, they should contact our office and notify us of this fact. At that point their account would be placed on hold and they would be given the opportunity to provide us with the documentation needed to remove the taxes shown as due.
If the employee has recently paid the taxes to us, it is possible that this notice and their payment have crossed in the mail. If this is the case, please have them contact us so that we can verify that their payment has been received. If it has, we will let you know the matter is now closed.
The employee listed on the request no longer works for us – what do we need to do?
If you receive a Wage Garnishment Request for an employee that no longer works for you, we ask that you notify us of this fact. This can be done by completing the back of the notice and returning it to our office, completing an online form at www.hab-inc.com/wage-attachment-employers-response/ or by calling our office. Once you have notified us of this fact, your requirement to execute on the request is relieved.
How can I make payments?
Click here to submit your wage garnishment payment online.
You can mail your payment to: PO Box 25153, Lehigh Valley, PA 18002- 5153.
If you have questions on this process or the notice that you have received, please feel free to contact us at the phone number listed on the wage garnishment notice.