garnishee notice

Debt recovery can be a long and tedious process. Often the process of recovering debt starts with a letter of demand and sometimes it ends there with payment by the debtor. However, there are times where you may need to take the debt recovery process further.

A garnishee order is a simple way to enforce a judgment debt without incurring the additional expenses involved in bankruptcy proceedings.

What is a garnishee notice?

If a person or business is owed money by you, they are able to apply to the Court for a garnishee order. Once the order is obtained, that person or business is then able to serve the garnishee notice on a third party who holds money for you, such as your employer or bank, known as the “garnishee”.

A garnishee notice requires the garnishee to repay the money you owe by transferring funds out of your wages or bank account. Under the Taxation Administration Act 1953, the ATO is authorised to directly issue a garnishee notice, without applying for a court order, in order to recover outstanding tax debts you may owe.

Have you been issued a garnishee notice?

If you are notified that a third party who holds your money has been issued with a garnishee notice, it is important that you act quickly and speak to a lawyer.

Recently, the Minister for Revenue and Financial Services called for an investigation into claims that the ATO were issuing garnishee notices before assessing the tax. It is crucial that you engage an experienced lawyer who can help verify whether the garnishee notice is valid, negotiate with the ATO or other party who issued the garnishee notice to withdraw the notice or who may assist you in entering into a payment arrangement.

A garnishee notice effectively leads to a loss of control over your finances and this can affect your personal and business circumstances. If you ignore a garnishee notice the situation will only get worse as the ATO or other party who issued the garnishee notice may continue debt recovery action through the Court and issue you with a bankruptcy notice.

If you have been issued with a garnishee notice, speak to our experienced Commercial Lawyers by filling out the form below, emailing or (02) 9964 0499 so that we can advise you on the next steps you should take and assist you in regaining control of your finances.

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