Skip to Main Content
State of California Franchise Tax Board

Order to Withhold (Bank Garnishment / Bank Levy) - Individuals

An Order to Withhold (OTW) is a legal order we issue to collect an individual’s delinquent tax debt. It is also known as a bank garnishment or bank levy.  

About levies

  • Legal authority – If you have a delinquent balance, we have the legal authority to collect. (California Revenue and Taxation Code Sections 18817 and 18670)
  • Levy amount – We issue levies to collect 100 percent of your delinquent balance for taxes, penalties, fees, and interest. We also issue levies for nontax debts such as Court-Ordered Debt and Vehicle Registration Debts.
  • Levy amount reduced – We may reduce a levy amount in certain circumstances. If we do, we will mail a levy reduction notice to your bank, and if you provide us with a fax number, we will fax it.

How to resolve

Pay us the amount listed on the levy and call us with the payment confirmation number you receive. Choose one of the following payment options: 

  • Web Pay - Make a payment from your checking or savings account.
  • Credit Card - Pay with your Discover, MasterCard, Visa, or American Express. Official Payments Corporation charges a fee for this service.
  • Western Union - Pay online, by phone, or in person at one of their worldwide offices. Western Union charges a fee for this service.
  • Money order or check - Make a payment in person at one of our field offices. Important: Our field offices do not accept cash payments.

Erroneous levy

If you believe we issued a levy in error, call us at the number listed on your notice and provide your bank’s fax number. We will delay the levy while we verify the error.

Once we confirm the error, we immediately mail and fax a levy release notice to your bank. If the bank already sent a payment to us, then we refund the payment to you after we process it.

Reimbursement of bank charges for erroneous bank levy

If we issued this order to withhold in error, we can reimburse you for charges incurred because of our error. To request reimbursement, you must write to us within 90 days of the notice date. State the following in your correspondence:

  • The erroneous action was caused by an FTB error.
  • The charges were solely the result of FTB’s error.
  • You paid the charges and they were not otherwise waived or reimbursed.
  • You responded to our contacts and provided information and documentation we requested to resolve the account.

Mail your letter to the address located on the top left hand side of your notice.

We will respond to your written request within 30 days of receipt.


If we levied your bank and you already filed bankruptcy, call us at 916.845.4750. For information about bankruptcy, visit our bankruptcy page.

Chat with an FTB Representative