The Tax Collection Process
What is a delinquent account?
An account becomes delinquent when the due date for a tax return or other
established liability has passed and the amount due remains unpaid.
What happens if your account becomes delinquent?
Penalties and interest begin to accrue on the unpaid tax until the entire
balance is paid in full.
- If you donít respond to letters or notices and your account continues to
be delinquent, it is assigned to a Revenue Agent for collection.
- The Revenue Agent will contact you by telephone, letter or in person to resolve
What happens if you do not respond or make satisfactory payment arrangements
during the collection process?
- The Department may issue an assessment and then a tax warrant covering all
unpaid tax, penalty and interest.
- If a tax warrant is not paid ten days after the issue date, it is filed with
the county Superior Court.
- A filed tax warrant establishes a lien against real and personal property.
- A filed tax warrant enables the Department to seize property (bank accounts,
wages, personal property) to pay the debt.
- If a filed tax warrant remains unpaid after 30 days, a hearing to revoke
the businessís tax registration endorsement may be held. (A business must have
a tax registration endorsement to legally operate in Washington)
What can you do to avoid becoming delinquent?
- Know your tax responsibilities and plan for them.
- File electronically.
Electronic filing reduces errors, allows you to warehouse your payment and
saves you time
- Pay careful attention to the due date on your tax return.
- Respond promptly to any Notice of Balance Due or Delinquency Notice sent
- Open and read Department of Revenue correspondence sent to you; it may contain
reporting instructions, due dates, changes in laws or tax rates or other important
information that may affect your tax responsibilities.
- Set up a separate bank account and regularly deposit collected retail sales
tax or other taxes you may owe. Withdraw the funds only when you pay the taxes.