105-368.  Procedure for attachment and garnishment.

(a)        Subject to the provisions of G.S. 105-356 governing the priority of the lien acquired, the tax collector may attach wages and other compensation, rents, bank deposits, the proceeds of property subject to levy, or any other intangible personal property, including property held in the Escheat Fund, in the circumstances and to the extent prescribed in G.S. 105-366(b), (c), and (d).

In the case of property due the taxpayer or to become due to him within the current calendar year, the person owing the property to the taxpayer or having the property in his possession shall be liable for the taxes to the extent of the amount he owes or has in his possession.  However, when wages or other compensation for personal services is attached, the garnishee shall not pay to the tax collector more than ten percent (10%) of such compensation for any one pay period.

(b)        To proceed under this section, the tax collector shall serve or cause to be served upon the taxpayer and the person owing or having in his possession the wages, rents, debts or other property sought to be attached a notice as provided by this subsection.  The notice may be personally served by any deputy or employee of the tax collector or by any officer having authority to serve summonses, or may be served in any manner provided in Rule 4 of the North Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure.  The notice shall contain:

(1)        The name of the taxpayer, and if known his Social Security number or federal tax identification number and his address.

(2)        The amount of the taxes, penalties, interest, and costs (including the fees allowed by this section) and the year or years for which the taxes were imposed.

(3)        The name of the taxing unit or units by which the taxes were levied.

(4)        A brief description of the property sought to be attached.

(5)        A copy of the applicable law, that is, G.S. 105-366 and 105-368.  Notices concerning two or more taxpayers may be combined if they are to be served upon the same garnishee, but the taxes, penalties, interest, and costs charged against each taxpayer must be set forth separately.

(c)        If the garnishee has no defense to offer or no setoff against the taxpayer, he shall within 10 days after service of the notice answer it by sending to the tax collector by registered or certified mail a statement to that effect, and if the amount demanded by the tax collector is then due to the taxpayer or subject to his demand, the garnishee shall remit it to the tax collector with his statement; but if the amount due to the taxpayer or subject to his demand is to mature in the future, the garnishee's statement shall set forth that fact, and the demand shall be paid to the tax collector upon maturity.  Any payment by the garnishee under the provisions of this subsection (c) shall completely satisfy any liability therefor on his part to the taxpayer.

(d)       If the garnishee has a defense or setoff against the taxpayer, he shall state it in writing under oath, and, within 10 days after service of the garnishment notice, he shall send two copies of his statement to the tax collector by registered or certified mail.  If the tax collector admits the defense or setoff, he shall so advise the garnishee in writing within 10 days after receipt of the garnishee's statement, and the attachment or garnishment shall thereupon be discharged to the amount required by the defense or setoff, and any amount attached or garnished which is not affected by the defense or setoff shall be remitted to the tax collector as provided in subsection (c), above.

If the tax collector does not admit the defense or setoff, he shall set forth in writing his objections thereto and send a copy thereof to the garnishee within 10 days after receipt of the garnishee's statement, or within such further time as may be agreed on by the garnishee, and at the same time the tax collector shall file a copy of the notice of garnishment, a copy of the garnishee's statement, and a copy of the tax collector's objections thereto in the appropriate division of the General Court of Justice of the county in which the garnishee resides or does business, where the issues made shall be tried as in civil actions.

(e)        If the garnishee has not responded to the notice of garnishment as required by subsections (c) and (d), above, within 15 days after service of the notice, the tax collector may file in the appropriate division of the General Court of Justice of the county in which the garnishee resides a copy of the notice of garnishment, accompanied by a written statement that the garnishee has not responded thereto and a request for judgment, and the issues shall be tried as in civil actions.

(f)        The taxpayer may raise any defenses to the attachment or garnishment that he may have in the manner provided in subsection (d), above, for the garnishee.

(g)        The fee for serving a notice of garnishment shall be the same as that charged in a civil action.  If judgment is entered in favor of the taxing unit by default or after hearing, the garnishee shall become liable for the taxes, penalties, and interest due by the taxpayer, plus the fees and costs of the action, but payment shall not be required from amounts which are not to become due to the taxpayer until they actually come due.  The garnishee may satisfy the judgment upon paying the amount thereof, and if he fails to do so, execution may issue as provided by law.  From any judgment or order entered, either the taxing unit or the garnishee may appeal as provided by law.  If, before or after judgment, adequate security is filed for the payment of the taxes, penalties, interest, and costs, the tax collector may release the attachment or garnishment, or execution may be stayed at the request of the tax collector pending appeal, but the final judgment shall be paid or enforced as above provided.  If judgment is rendered against the taxing unit, it shall pay the fees and costs of the action.  All fees collected by officers shall be disposed of in the same manner as other fees collected by such officers.

(h)        Tax collectors may proceed against the wages, salary, or other compensation of officials and employees of this State and its agencies, instrumentalities, and political subdivisions in the manner provided in this section.  If the taxpayer is an employee of the State, the notice of attachment shall be served upon him and upon the head or chief fiscal officer of the department, agency, instrumentality, or institution by which he is employed.  If the taxpayer is an employee of a political subdivision of the State (county, municipality, etc.), the notice of attachment shall be served upon him and upon the officer charged with making up the payrolls of the political subdivision by which he is employed.  All deductions from the wages or salary of a taxpayer made pursuant to this subsection (h) and remitted to the tax collector shall, pro tanto, constitute a satisfaction of the salary or wages due the taxpayer.

(i)         (1)        Any person who, after written demand therefor, refuses to give the tax collector or assessor a list of the names and addresses of all of his employees who may be liable for taxes, shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

(2)        Any tax collector or assessor who receives, upon his written demand, any list of employees may not release or furnish that list or any copy thereof, or disclose any name or information thereon, to any other person, and may not use that list in any manner or for any purpose not directly related to and in furtherance of the collection and foreclosure of taxes.  Any tax collector or assessor who violates or allows the violation of this subdivision (i)(2) shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. (1939, c. 310, s. 1713; 1951, c. 1141, s. 1; 1955, cc. 1263, 1264; 1957, c. 1414, ss. 2-4; 1969, c. 305, c. 1029, s. 1; 1971, c. 806, s. 1; 1979, c. 103, ss. 3, 4; 1979, 2nd Sess., c. 1085, s. 2; 1981, c. 76, s. 1; 1987, c. 45, s. 1; 1989, c. 580, s. 2; 1993, c. 539, s. 724; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c).)