Tax Warrant Search

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Run a Tax Warrant Search by State

Paying taxes are obligations that are a part of everyone’s civic responsibility. At times, individuals or businesses hit hard times and face financial challenges that limit their ability to pay these. If too much time passes without paying taxes, the state may issue a tax warrant or tax lien to recover their overdue taxes. They can come after a person’s assets or bank account to recover those taxes. To perform a tax warrant search and find out if you have a tax warrant you can use the resources of a public record website. Simply enter a first and last name, and select a state, into the tax warrant search form to find out if you are on that list. If you find out you have one, you may want to seek professional help to guide you on a resolution 

What is a Tax Warrant?

A tax warrant is a legal document issued by the state government when an individual or business fails to pay their taxes. Think of a tax warrant as the government’s way of saying, “You owe us, and we’re coming for our money.” It’s a formal note saying you’ve missed paying your taxes, and the government is ready to take some action. Tax warrants are typically associated with income tax, property tax, and sales taxes (for businesses). 

State Tax Warrant

Can You Be Arrested and Go to Jail for a Tax Warrant?

It’s important to differentiate between a tax warrant and an arrest warrant. A tax warrant itself does not order the arrest of the debtor. It’s more about the government wanting their money, and they can take specific actions to recover the amount owed to them. These actions might include levying bank accounts, garnishing wages, or seizing property and assets.  However, if there is repeated non-compliance, or the government thinks you are attempting to evade your taxes or have committed fraud, then you might be slapped with criminal charges, arrested and detained until you can go to court and resolve your unpaid tax issues. 

How Are Tax Warrants Enforced?

Once a tax warrant is issued, the government has ways to recover their money. These actions can be taken by the government without your consent or permission, It is implied when you do not pay your taxes that the government can pretty much do whatever they need to do to recover unpaid taxes. 

  • Wage Garnishment: A portion of the debtor’s wages can be directly taken to pay down the tax debt. 
  • Bank Account Levies: The government can seize funds directly from bank accounts as well to recover the tax debt. 
  • Tax Liens: A tax lien can be placed on properties, which can prevent selling or refinancing properties, until the tax debt is settled. 
  • Seizing Assets: In some of the more extreme cases, personal or business assets can be seized and sold to settle the tax debt. These can be cars, boats, planes, or business equipment or property. 
  • Suspension of Business License: For some businesses that habitually fail to pay their taxes, they can have their operational licenses suspended. 

What Should You Do If You Get a Tax Warrant?

  • Don’t Panic: Understand that a tax warrant is not the end of the world. It’s a step in the debt collection process that can be mitigated by addressing it and going through the correct channels. 
  • Seek Professional Help: Talk to a tax professional or attorney specializing in tax matters and tax liens. They can help instruct you on the best course of action to mitigate your tax dilemma. Examples might be challenging the warrant, setting up a payment plan, or seeking some kind of compromise. 
  • Stay Compliant: Make sure you start paying your taxes and future taxes to avoid future complications as well as showing the government that you are attempting to comply with, and respecting, the tax warrant. 
  • Communicate with the Issuing Government Agency: Make sure to communicate with the tax agency that you are aware of the situation and that you want to discuss potential resolutions. Ignoring the tax warrant will only make things worse and more expensive in the long run. 

Tax Warrant Search

How to Lookup a Tax Warrant Through the State?

If you believe a tax warrant has been issued in your name or you want to verify one, there are a few options you can research.  It might be helpful to search multiple sources to verify the details of a potential tax warrant.

  • Contact the Relevant Tax Agency: This might be the state tax agencies, or local tax collection departments. 
  • Online Databases: Many states and counties maintain online databases where tax warrants can be searched. If you cannot find what you are looking for there, you can always try searching through a public record website as this information is publicly available. 
  • County Clerk’s Office: Visit or call the county clerk’s office in your county, as they might have records of local tax warrants and tax liens. 

The Difference Between Tax Warrants and Other Warrants

Arrest Warrants are court issued documents of a criminal allegation that grants law enforcement the right to arrest someone based on sufficient evidence. This is a serious offense where someone can be arrested on the spot and held in jail or detention until they go in front of a judge.

Bench Warrants are when someone misses their court date, appearance to testify, missed their jury duty, or doesn’t follow a direct court order. The majority of the time these are summons to go to court however, in some circumstances that person can be arrested and detained.

Capias Warrants are when a person fails a serious court order, such as missing a court appearance of their own court case, or in some circumstances violates a probation order, or other serious court orders that were not followed. This type of warrant is a serious offense where that person listed will be arrested and jailed until they go to court.

Tax Warrants are issued by a government agency, not the criminal courts or law enforcement, but a tax authority, when a taxpayer owes unpaid taxes. This becomes a legal claim, made by the government, to collect the unpaid taxes from a person’s bank account, wages, assets and property.


It’s important to remember that a tax warrant is a serious matter that requires immediate attention. However, with the right information, legal assistance, and proactive approach, it is possible to navigate this challenging situation and find a solution without having the government tap into your financial resources or assets. If you suspect you may have one, a simple background check will let you know if you have any type of tax warrant or tax lien.

Tax Warrants FAQ

Can I still sell my property if there's a tax warrant?

Selling your property with a tax warrant can be challenging to impossible. The tax warrant might need to be resolved, or paid in full to have the tax lien paid off before being able to sell your property.

Can my wages be garnished for to a tax warrant?

Yes, the government can garnish your wages to collect unpaid taxes as part of their tax collection efforts. They can also take money from your bank account or seize your assets or property to take care of the unpaid tax debt.

What's the difference between a tax lien and a tax warrant?

A tax warrant is the actual legal document issued to collect unpaid taxes, while a tax lien is the government's claim placed on a taxpayer's property as a result of the tax warrant. Both tax warrants and tax liens have similar actions and results.

Can bankruptcy clear my tax warrant?

It is possible but it depends on the circumstance. Bankruptcy might provide relief from certain types of tax debt, but not all tax obligations can be cleared or discharged through bankruptcy.

Can a tax warrant lead to criminal charges?

A tax warrant itself is not a criminal charge, like arrest and bench warrants however, tax evasion or tax fraud can lead criminal charges where you can potentially be arrested.

Can a tax warrant affect my credit score?

Absolutely, a tax warrant can have a very negative impact your credit score, making it harder to get loans or credit in the future.

Can my property be seized for a tax warrant?

Yes, a tax warrant can lead to your property being seized and sold by the government to satisfy the unpaid tax debt.

Do I have a tax warrant?

If you suspect you have a tax warrant for unpaid taxes, you can contact the clerk of the county, the state tax collection agency, or a public record website to find out if you do indeed have one.

Who issues tax warrants?

Tax warrants are issued by government agencies responsible for collecting taxes, such as local, state or federal tax authorities.

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Last Updated: 2023-08-10

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