Can the IRS Take Your Property?
The IRS has the resources and government-backed power to initiate some of the most aggressive collections actions against delinquent taxpayers. They can seize your property, levy your bank account, garnish your wages, and place liens on your real estate without having to jump through any of the same hoops that a private collections lawyer would. You are not, however, without options. A tax attorney at Midwest Tax Relief can help you avoid IRS asset seizure and recover IRS seized property.
Notice and Demand for Payment Letter
Before the IRS can begin seizing your property, they will serve you with a Notice and Demand for Payment Letter. These letters will state how much money you owe, how you can make payments, and consequences if you don’t. These consequences include asset and property seizure.
The IRS will send four more demand letters or three more if they’re targeting a business. The final notice is called The Final Notice of Intent to Levy. You will have 30 days from the date of that letter to contact an attorney before the IRS shows up on your property, begins freezing and withdrawing money from your bank accounts, or otherwise attempts to collect the debt that you owe.
How to Stop the IRS From Seizing Your Property
If the IRS is threatening to seize your property, the first thing you should do is talk to us. We have years of experience dealing with the IRS and we understand how they operate. You may qualify for tax resolution programs or hardship exemptions. You may be able to repay your debt in installments or qualify for an offer in compromise. Talk to us immediately before the situation gets out of hand you find yourself attempting to recover your IRS seized property.
Once you announce to the IRS that you have hired an attorney, the IRS will stop collections actions against you until your case is resolved. The earlier you initiate this process, the better off you are.
What Assets Can the IRS Seize?
The IRS seizes assets with the sole purpose of liquidating them to recover money they believe you owe. This includes almost anything of value including family heirlooms and retirement savings. IRS seized property is then auctioned off and the money is used to pay off your debt. This process usually happens quickly. It’s very important to seek representation before the problem advances this far.
To frame this as honestly as possible, the IRS is allowed by law to seize any property that is not essential to your survival or shelter. In other words, they’re not allowed to kill you or render you homeless. They can seize vehicles, real estate that is not your primary place of residence, stocks, bonds, and just about any other investment you can think of.
The better question is: What assets can the IRS not seize? It’s a much shorter list, which includes the following:
- Your main residence,
- Your primary vehicle,
- Workers’ compensation payments,
- Child support payments,
- Non-SSDI or SSI disability payments,
- 85% of your unemployment wages,
- Personal apparel and furniture (up to $7,700)
- Any tool of your trade (up to $3,860),
- Anything with no equitable value, and
- Anything they can’t sell at an auction.
There are limits to how much the IRS can take from your primary income as well — although, as stated earlier, this number is higher than a private creditor.
Am I at Risk of IRS Asset Seizure?
While the IRS has nearly unlimited authority when it comes to liquidating your property, there is a process that they go through before selling off your assets. You will be given the opportunity to negotiate with the IRS, repay your outstanding debt, or agree to a repayment plan. Additionally, the IRS must serve you with a 30-day notice prior to initiating aggressive collections against your estate.
In order to be at risk of IRS asset seizure, you must owe a fairly large sum of money. Attempts by the IRS to recover the debt must have either failed or been ignored.
IRS Wage Garnishment
Much like any creditor, the IRS can garnish your wages. However, it doesn’t need to obtain a court order in order to do so. Nonetheless, the IRS can take more money than a private creditor can by law. Additionally, the IRS is allowed by law to seize money from social security checks or other benefits that are usually off limits to private creditors.
How an IRS Tax Attorney Can Help
Regardless of what stage of the process you’re in, the Omaha tax attorneys at Midwest Tax Relief will review your case and inform the IRS that you are being represented by an attorney and that we are reviewing your case. We will then review what tax documents you have submitted to the IRS, determine whether the figure that they are presenting you with is correct, and ensure that you are in compliance with federal tax law. We can help you:
- Request a Collections Due Process Hearing during which you can argue that you do not owe the taxes that the IRS says you owe.
- Request an immediate stay of enforcement which buys you some time to build your defense.
- File for hardship relief during which you will argue that a current medical condition or natural disaster has put undue hardship on you.
- Bargain for an offer in compromise which will allow you to settle your debt for less than the amount owed.
- Negotiate a repayment plan with which you can repay your outstanding debt in installments.
Contact a Midwest Tax Relief Today About IRS Asset Seizure Defense
If the IRS is threatening to seize your assets, talk to Omaha tax attorney Burke Smith at Midwest Tax Relief today. We can help.