As an employer, you are obliged to implement garnishments

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As an employer, you may be required by a public authority to make deductions from your employees’ salaries or other remuneration because the employee has a claim against them which has not been paid by the due date. This is called a garnishment.

The claim that forms the basis for the garnishment could for example be unpaid taxes, municipal taxes, value added tax, maintenance contributions, fines, etc. The public authorities that can issue garnishment orders include ordinary enforcement officers (i.e. a sheriff or deputy sheriff), the tax collector (the treasurer), the tax office or the Norwegian National Collection Agency (SI).

You are obliged to implement garnishments

As an employer, you are obliged to implement garnishments, regardless of whether or not the employee has given their consent. If you do not make the deduction in accordance with the order, you may be held directly liable for failing to make the deduction.

The garnishment must be implemented alongside the payroll withholding tax. The deduction must be made in accordance with the relevant order when you pay or otherwise settle salaries or other remuneration or benefits.

The public authority that orders the garnishment will calculate the amount to be deducted and determine the period over which the deduction is to be made. The deduction could be a fixed monthly amount or a specific percentage of the employee's salary. As an employer, you will receive three examples of the deduction order. You must give one example to the employee. Once the deduction is no longer being made, you must also give the employee one example, which will serve as a combined acknowledgement and state the total deduction that you have made.

You must notify the tax collector or the tax office if the employee’s employment with you is terminated while the garnishment is in progress.

How do I deposit garnishments?

Garnishments ordered by the tax collector must be deposited in the tax deduction account together with the payroll withholding tax, and follow the rules that apply concerning reporting and payment. The garnishment must be paid per period with the same deadlines as for payroll withholding tax.

The amount that is deducted must be paid to the tax collector which ordered the deduction. You must also submit a settlement list for garnishments to the tax collector at the same time.

If you do not deduct payroll withholding tax and therefore do not have a tax deduction account, the deducted amount must be paid to the tax collector in accordance with the deduction order.

Garnishments ordered by the tax office must be paid to the tax office in accordance with the deduction order.

Appealing against and amendments to garnishments

The employee (or the employer on his or her behalf) can apply to have a garnishment amended if material changes occur in the employee's financial situation. The employee or employer can appeal against a deduction order to the district court provided that the deduction period has not ended. The appeal must be submitted to the tax collector or the tax office which ordered the deduction. If a garnishment is amended, you will be notified by the tax collector or the tax office which issued the order.

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