Montana Code Annotated 2023



Part 13. Unpaid Contributions

Lien For Payment Of Unpaid Taxes -- Levy And Execution

39-51-1304. Lien for payment of unpaid taxes -- levy and execution. (1) Unpaid taxes, including penalties and interest assessed on unpaid taxes, have the effect of a judgment against the employer, against the liable corporate officer or liable member or manager of a limited liability company referred to in 39-51-1105, or against a partner in a limited liability partnership. The judgment arises at the time that the payments are due. The department may issue a certificate stating the amount of payments due and directing the clerk of the district court of any county of the state to enter the certificate as a judgment in the docket pursuant to 25-9-301. From the time that the judgment is docketed, it becomes a lien upon all real and personal property of the employer. After the due process requirements of 39-51-1109 and 39-51-2403 have been satisfied, the department may enforce the judgment through the sheriff or agent authorized to collect the tax in the same manner as prescribed for execution upon a judgment. When issued, a notice of levy has the same force and effect as a writ of execution. A levy upon earnings continues in effect for 120 days or until the judgment is satisfied, whichever occurs first. The levy applies to all pay periods beginning during the 120-day period. A notice of levy may be made by means of a certified letter by an agent authorized to collect the tax. The department may enforce the judgment at any time within 10 years of the creation of the lien or the effective date of the lien, whichever is later.

(2) A judgment lien filed pursuant to this section may be renewed for another 10-year period, upon motion, or by judgment for that purpose founded upon supplemental pleadings.

(3) The lien provided for in subsection (1) is not valid against any third party owning an interest in real or personal property against which the judgment is enforced if:

(a) the third party's interest is recorded prior to the entrance of the certificate as a judgment; and

(b) the third party receives from the most recent grantor of the interest a signed affidavit stating that all taxes, penalties, and interest due from the grantor have been paid.

(4) A grantor who signs and delivers an affidavit is subject to the penalties imposed by 39-51-3204 if any part of it is untrue. Notwithstanding the provisions of 39-51-3204, the department may proceed under 39-51-1303, this section, or both, to collect the delinquent taxes, penalties, and interest from the:

(a) employer;

(b) liable corporate officer;

(c) liable member or manager of a limited liability company referred to in 39-51-1105; or

(d) partner in a limited liability partnership.

(5) The lien provided for in subsection (1) must be released upon payment in full of the unpaid taxes, penalties, and accumulated interest. The department may release or may partially release the lien upon partial payment or whenever the department determines that the release or partial release of the lien will facilitate the collection of unpaid taxes, penalties, or interest. The department may release the lien if it determines that the lien is unenforceable.

History: En. as Subd. (e) of Sec. 14, Ch. 137, L. 1937 by Sec. 8, Ch. 164, L. 1941; amd. Sec. 8, Ch. 156, L. 1961; amd. Sec. 27, Ch. 368, L. 1975; R.C.M. 1947, 87-139; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 349, L. 1981; amd. Sec. 2, Ch. 514, L. 1985; amd. Sec. 13, Ch. 234, L. 1987; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 487, L. 1987; amd. Sec. 15, Ch. 373, L. 1991; amd. Sec. 10, Ch. 195, L. 1995; amd. Sec. 10, Ch. 529, L. 1995; amd. Sec. 172, Ch. 42, L. 1997; amd. Sec. 8, Ch. 60, L. 1997; amd. Sec. 26, Ch. 491, L. 1997; amd. Sec. 2, Ch. 397, L. 2001; amd. Sec. 14, Ch. 515, L. 2001.