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Involuntary and Voluntary Pay Deductions: Massachusetts

Involuntary and Voluntary Pay Deductions requirements for other states

Federal law and guidance on this subject should be reviewed together with this section.

Author: Vicki M. Lambert, The Payroll Advisor


  • An employer must begin withholding for child support on the first payday that occurs more than three days after receipt of an income withholding order. Withheld amounts must be remitted within three business days after payday. Child support cannot exceed a certain percentage of disposable earnings. Employers that withhold child support for at least five employees must remit the payments electronically. See Child Support Withholding.
  • Massachusetts limits the amount of disposable income that is subject to creditor garnishment. Creditor garnishments are not permitted if the order is issued by an out-of-state court See Creditor Garnishment Withholding.
  • Assignments of wages are permitted under certain conditions. See Voluntary Wage Assignments.
  • Massachusetts law gives the state Department of Revenue the right to issue a levy against an employee's wages to pay state taxes owed. However, certain amounts are exempt from tax levy withholding. See Tax Levies.