Protect Your Assets From an IRS Tax Lien or Levy
When you have unpaid income taxes, the government can issue an IRS lien or IRS tax levy. While levies and liens are different, they can negatively impact your property rights and credit. At Midwest Tax Relief, we understand how stressful it is to get an IRS tax lien or levy notice. Thankfully, you have legal options that can resolve your tax debt and eliminate the IRS’ interest in your property. Learn how to prevent and fight a tax levy or lien below.
What Is an IRS Tax Lien?
When the IRS file a tax lien against you, it is making a legal claim to your property. While you won’t automatically lose your property and assets, it can complicate the sale or financing of your property and damage your credit score.
When the IRS files a Notice of Federal Tax Lien, it will appear in title searches and on your credit score as a warning to prospective buyers and lenders. This document advises the public that while you own the property, the IRS has made a legal claim to some of its value. If you sell the property, you must pay the IRS tax lien with the proceeds.
The Nebraska Department of Revenue can also file tax liens against you. If you owe more than $20,000 in unpaid state taxes, your name might also appear on the Department of Revenue’s Delinquent Taxpayer List, which it publishes online.
How Do I Remove an IRS Tax Lien?
Contact a respected tax relief lawyer right away if you owe the IRS unpaid taxes or received a Notice of Federal Tax Lien. Depending on your circumstances, you might have a variety of lien removal options. Sometimes, a lawyer can discharge, or remove, the lien from a piece of property. Other times, they can completely release or eliminate the lien. You also might be able to convince the IRS to withdraw its public notice or reduce its priority, which can help you refinance and rebuild.
Additionally, if you enter an installment plan or resolve your unpaid tax bill, the IRS should remove its lien. However, mistakes sometimes occur. If you discover that the government failed to remove an IRS tax lien from your record, a Nebraska tax relief attorney can help you correct their error.
How Is an IRS Tax Levy Different From a Tax Lien?
When the IRS files a tax levy, it takes your property as payment. An IRS tax lien simply documents the IRS’ interest in your property, including real estate, bank accounts, investments, and vehicles. If you don’t resolve the lien, the IRS will move forward and levy (or take) your property.
What the Government Must Do to Initiate a Levy
However, the government can’t just step in and claim your assets. To initiate an IRS tax levy, it must follow a strict procedure that includes notice requirements.
- Send you a written Notice and Demand for Payment
- Determine that you are either ignoring or refusing to pay your taxes
- Send you a Final Notice of Intent to Levy and notify you of your right to an appeal hearing
- Give you 30 days to request a hearing or resolve your tax issues
- File an IRS tax levy against your bank and investment accounts, real estate, personal property, vehicles, wages, or other assets
Typically, you will receive these written notices by certified mail or in-person. You will never get notice of an IRS tax levy or lien by telephone or email.
What the Government Can Take in a Levy
However, there are limits to what the government can take in an IRS tax levy. While it has broader powers than a typical creditor, it cannot access your Social Security benefits, wages that cover your basic needs, child support payments, workers’ compensation and certain other government benefits, and your clothing. With the help of an experienced tax relief lawyer, you can also protect thousands of dollars in personal property and professional equipment.
What Should I Do if I Get Notice of an IRS Tax Levy?
At the Midwest Tax Relief, we understand how quickly tax bills can add up. If you’re struggling with unpaid income taxes and receive notice of an IRS tax levy, you need to take action immediately — ignoring an IRS tax levy will not make it go away. However, with help from a tax relief attorney, you might be able to negotiate an offer in compromise or other solution that stops the levy process.
Depending on your personal situation, a tax relief lawyer might successfully release or eliminate the IRS tax levy. This is a complicated process that most people cannot successfully do on their own. You and your lawyer must provide significant evidence that an IRS tax levy will cause severe economic hardship, resolve your tax debt, or prove that the IRS missed certain deadlines.
How Midwest Tax Relief Can Help
Our office helps clients with their comprehensive tax relief matters, including:
- Appealing and resolving IRS tax liens and levies
- Negotiating tax relief options like installment agreements and offers in compromise
- Protecting clients from wage garnishment and asset seizure
- Guiding innocent spouses through the tax relief process
- Federal tax litigation
If you need help stopping an IRS tax levy, contact us today. Our office offers confidential, no-risk consultations and can educate you about your legal options, which might include an offer in compromise or installment agreement.
Request a Consultation and Learn More About Your IRS Lien or Tax Levy Options
Nebraska tax relief attorney Burke Smith assists clients with their IRS tax levy and lien issues. Over the years, he has built a reputation for honest advice, tireless advocacy, and a track record of success. If you’ve received an IRS tax lien or levy notice, contact us today for a free consultation. We’ll listen to your side of the story and help you understand your legal options and next steps.