October 25, 2016

Denver Tax LawyerThe Internal Revenue Service has the power to seize the assets or property of individuals and businesses who have failed, refused, or neglected to pay tax their obligations as they become due. This legal seizure, commonly referred to as a levy, is the agency’s way of satisfying a taxpayer’s tax debt. How will I know if I am at risk for an IRS seizure?

If you are initially unable to pay your taxes, you can expect to receive notices in the mail, which are typically accompanied by instructions that explain your rights as a taxpayer. Such an issue can typically be resolved with an installment plan to the IRS.

If you want to know if you are at risk for IRS seizure, one question to ask yourself is: how much do you owe the IRS? While there are no specific rules with regards to how much debt warrants an IRS seizure, keep in mind that the higher your debt is, the more aggressive the IRS is likely to be with their collection efforts.

If you owe the IRS a large amount and refuse to cooperate with the IRS, then you may be at risk of having a levy or lien placed on some or all of your properties. Not cooperating includes ignoring IRS collection letters and demands, failing to return phone calls to a Revenue Officer, failing to respond to the IRS’ request for financial information, and failing to stay current on estimated tax payments and tax filings.

Another way to determine if you are at serious risk for IRS seizure is by the person contacting you. Were you contacted directly by a Revenue Officer or by someone from the IRS Automated Collection Service? Although the Automated Collection Service may levy your bank account or your wages, they are not authorized to seize your personal property, your house, or your business assets. Any seizures of personal and real property require approval from higher levels, and typically need the filing of a lawsuit in court. Also, all of the work of the ACS is done over the phone. The Revenue Officer, on the other hand, may visit your office or place or residence unannounced, and is authorized to conduct high-level seizures.

Finally, the IRS cannot typically implement a seizure of your property without first sending you a Final Notice of Intent to Levy. After this final notice has been sent by the IRS, you are given 30 days to file a collection due process appeal. Without a final notice from the agency, you are not at immediate risk for seizure. If you are not sure if you have been issued a Final Notice of Intent to Levy, you may want to verify with the IRS by requesting a transcript of their actions for your account.

Categories: IRS