Tax Debt: Garnishee Orders from ATO - Waterhouse Lawyers

Tax Debt: Garnishee Orders from ATO


Tax Debt

Tax Debt: Garnishee Orders from ATO

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) may issue a Garnishee Order if you fail to meet your tax debt payment obligations. However, you must be left with reasonable living expenses. What are reasonable living expenses will be determined by the type of garnishee that has been issued.

There are two types of garnishee orders. One is issued to a taxpayer’s employer for salaries and wages. The other garnishee order is issued to a bank and requires the bank to forward all funds in the account to the debtor, in this instance the ATO.

All states have a statutory minimum of the amount that must be left available to the taxpayer where a garnishee for salaries and wages has been issued. For instance, in New South Wales (NSW), the debtor must leave a net weekly amount of $474.20.

The situation is a little different where the garnishee order has been issued to a bank. There is no statutory minimum that the debtor must leave. However, the ATO is willing to consider submissions as to a taxpayer’s reasonable cost of living.

In this instance, the ATO will have regard to:

  • Your financial position and the steps you have taken to make payment in the shortest possible time-frame having regard to your particular circumstances;
  • the extent of any other debts you owe;
  • whether the revenue is placed at risk because of your actions, such as you making payment to other creditors in preference to paying the Commissioner;
  • the likely implications of issuing a notice on you ability to provide for a family or to maintain the viability of a business.


If you receive a Garnishee Notice and want the ATO to review it, contact the team at Waterhouse Lawyers.  We can help.








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