It’s a natural tendency to want to avoid dealing with an unpleasant task such as an IRS debt problem. After all, the IRS is not particularly speedy in most of the things they do, so ignoring them, in the beginning, is easy. But this is probably going to cost you. Waiting for that levy notice to come in the mail is going to reduce the time available for you to arrange your finances so that your payments to the government are minimized.
Why is this? Unless you qualify for a streamlined payment plan, the IRS is going to perform a financial analysis of your situation to determine how much money they should be able to collect. Basically, they are going to relate your income to what they consider to be the “reasonable” costs of living. If that cash flow projection is positive, they are going to want a deal that gives them that amount as a minimum.
Here is where the time problem comes in. Given enough time in advance of that levy notice, you can use the IRS financial analysis approach in advance to figure out what changes you can make to minimize the amount that the IRS might think of as collectible. For example, say you do not have life insurance. The IRS allowable expenses include term life insurance premiums. But, you need at least 3 months of payments to the insurance company before the IRS will include this money in their calculations. So, signing up for life insurance tomorrow is not going to work. Given enough time in advance of negotiating with the IRS could result in you having life insurance with zero difference to your cash flow.
Performing the financial analysis early allows you to develop a strategy to minimize the IRS’s impact on your life. Waiting for the levy notice is a mistake