Solid Steps to Avoid IRS Liens or Levies

If you’re a Gainesville (FL) business owner, we share a desire — to avoid IRS tax liens and levies! If your firm is financially sound, with handsome profits and all debts and taxes paid timely, that’s wonderful. Go on vacation and send me a postcard. But few entrepreneurs can avoid all the ditches on the road to success, and many end up with unwanted IRS letters in their mailboxes.

Depending on the tax debt involved, this can lead to fear, panic, and paralysis. I’m also a business owner and have experienced hard times. But as a long-time CPA and former IRS agent, I know my IRS options, keep up with changes in the law, and was able to avoid the deepest ditches or become insolvent.

To start you feeling relief and hope, here’s my key advice on resolving all IRS problems:

Don’t ignore IRS correspondence — replies buy you time and perhaps favor. Never lie to the IRS. Get current with all filings, and make any payments due for your current year tax returns. If you can’t make the full payment due, send less, but send. Figure out your options by filling out IRS form 433 to assess your future cash flows and any assets that might be available for liquidation.

Depending upon how this analysis comes out, you might be able to make an installment agreement, make an offer in compromise, file bankruptcy, or convince the IRS that the tax debt is simply not collectible currently.

If you cannot make a satisfactory deal (you may not like any deal the IRS proposes), the IRS will likely begin collection by attempting to levy your bank accounts and/or place liens on the property you own. It is critical that you request an appeal hearing within 30 days of any lien or levy notice date.

The bigger the number of the debt, the more it pays to get professional representation. If you live in Gainesville, Florida, and have an IRS problem, call me at (352) 317-5692 for a free consultation. You can also send me an email at

Author: Jim Payne

Jim Payne, a Florida Certified Public Accountant (CPA) since 1976, offers candid insights on getting square with the IRS — with the least pain, and at the lowest cost — with (or without) the help of a tax representative. Mr. Payne is a former IRS agent and expert in business profitability, IRS audits, IRS payroll tax, and IRS non-filer issues. As a Tax Representative, his goal is clear: " I will speak on your behalf to all IRS agents, so you never have to, and I'll guide you in executing a strategy to resolve your IRS problem so you can get back to enjoying life."

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