What about IRS Levies?

I represent taxpayers in Gainesville and the state of Florida who have tax issues with the IRS. A Federal Tax Levy is the actual seizure of a taxpayer’s assets because of past-due taxes. Usually, it involves a bank account or wages.

There are two types of Levy. A Regular Levy is one that seizes what the taxpayer owns at that moment such as cash in a bank account. The other variation is the Continuing Levy which stays in place to continue to grab wages as they are earned.

The IRS and Qualified Plans

One of the big myths is the idea that the IRS cannot Levy an IRA, 401(k) or other qualified retirement plan. While it may be true that other creditors can’t reach these funds, the federal government and its agencies are exempt from this restriction. If the taxpayer has the right to liquidate one of these accounts, then the IRS has the right to step into their shoes and grab the funds. Worse, the 10% early withdrawal penalty still applies.

What to Do

What is the best technique for avoiding one of these levies? It’s simple, don’t ignore IRS notices. Contact them and do your best to resolve the situation. As long as you are providing returns and information to the IRS to resolve the situation, there is no need for the IRS to resort to their big hammer — the Levy.

Should the IRS Levy your bank account or your wages, not all is necessarily loss. Your bank or employer is required to hold the funds for 21 days before sending it on to the IRS. If you move quickly, you can begin negotiations with the IRS and perhaps get the Levy released before the money is paid over to the IRS.

If you or someone you know has received a Notice of Intent to Levy or some other federal or state tax issue, please feel free to contact me at either (352) 317-5692 or email jim@taxrepgainesville.com.

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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