The Internal Revenue Service is arguably the most feared federal agency in the United States. Their broad powers of collection and strict interpretation of the Internal Revenue Code gives even the most fastidious taxpayers pause. But no matter how careful you may be, it is easy to make a mistake on your tax return. In fact, many Americans believe that the tax code is deliberately abstruse. Why else would over twenty million citizens owe back taxes?
The IRS has not offered many answers to this question. But that doesn't stop them from going after each and every dime they say taxpayers owe them. And because they are a government agency, they have powerful tools at their disposal. When a taxpayer is in arrears to the IRS, he might as well have a bull's-eye tattooed on his back. The methods they can and will use to come after him are truly frightening.
One of the first things the IRS will do is file a lien. An IRS lien tax attaches itself to everything the tax debtor owns, including property, titles, rights, licenses, and personal belongings. In short, the proceeds from any asset he sells, including his home, must be handed over to the IRS. It is also important to note that an IRS lien tax will appear on your credit report. Just like a bankruptcy, it is part of the public record and it will adversely affect your credit score. But that's just the beginning. In fact, that is the IRS being nice!
If they decide to take the gloves off, the IRS can take your stuff. That's right! An IRS levy gives them the right to take your property to satisfy your tax debt. That can be your house, your vehicles, business equipment, personal belongings, basically anything you have of value. The IRS can then sell your confiscated property, often for pennies on the dollar, at a public auction. But the nightmare doesn't end there.
The IRS can also go into your bank account and seize funds. And if you don't have enough to pay your back taxes, they can file a wage garnishment notice with your employer, which will require him to send a certain portion of your pay check to the IRS. We told you they didn't mess around!
These tactics are not at all uncommon. In fact, the IRS uses them every day! Many taxpayers are caught completely unaware when they receive a Final Notice of Intent to Levy and Notice of Your Right to a Hearing. This incredibly scary missive "duly" informs them that they have exactly 30 days before the IRS can take possession of their possessions. The recipient then has about a month to prevent the IRS from taking action.
Contact a Tax Advisor Today
The chances that an average citizen can negotiate a favorable settlement with the IRS are quite low. The IRS employs experienced tax professionals and if they have singled you out as a tax debtor, the burden is on you to prove them wrong. At this point, it is imperative that you contact a tax advisor.
An experienced tax advisor will review your tax records and communicate with the IRS on your behalf. As scary as they are, the IRS is really nothing more than an enormous collection agency. And the only thing a collection agency wants is money. If your tax advisor can prove to them that you are serious about paying your tax debt, he may be able to obtain release of an IRS levy and negotiate a manageable payment plan for taxes.