Frequently Asked Questions Regarding IRS Tax Levies (FAQs)

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding IRS Tax Levies (FAQs)

Can You Stop a Tax Levy?

Yes, you can stop an IRS tax levy. The IRS doesn’t really want to levy anyone’s assets. Seizing assets is the last resort method to collect taxes from uncooperative taxpayers. When the IRS sends the final notice of intent to levy, it gives you 30 days to resolve the issue. To stop the levy, you can pay in full, enter an installment agreement, or set up another type of agreement with the IRS.

What Assets Can the IRS Take Through a Levy?

The IRS can take many things but certain items are exempt.  What they can take includes wages, commissions, employee travel advances, payments from clients, money from bank accounts, property including your home, and rights to the property. The IRS can also take 15 percent of your Social Security payments.

What Won’t IRS Take Through a Tax Levy?

The IRS cannot take welfare payments, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), disability payments, court-ordered child support, worker’s compensation benefits, unemployment payments, certain annuity, and pension benefits. You can also keep school books, livestock, personal assets up to a certain value, and tools of the trade up to a certain value.

Some professionals argue that the IRS can legally levy public assistance benefits, unemployment, and worker’s compensation benefits. However, the IRS IRM instructs IRS personnel not to do so.

What If I Don’t Agree With the Notice of Intent to Levy?

If you don’t agree with the notice of intent to levy, you have the right to appeal. Rarely, the IRS makes mistakes such as misplacing payments or mixing up paperwork, and in other cases, the agency may not handle the steps correctly. In both cases, you should call the phone number on the notice and do the paperwork to file an appeal.

Can the IRS Levy Retirement Accounts like my Pension or 401K?

Yes, the IRS is authorized to levy pension and 401k benefits in order to collect unpaid taxes. These types of tax benefits are considered to be a form of income and are therefore subject to tax collection efforts by the IRS. In fact, 401k accounts and pension plans may be at even greater risk of levies than other forms of income, as they are frequently invested in stocks or other financial products, which can be more easily garnished by the government. Additionally, 401k plans and pensions may also have higher balances than other types of income, making them more lucrative targets for the IRS. Regardless of whether you have 401k or pension funds, it is crucial to stay up-to-date on your tax obligations and make regular payments to avoid attracting unwanted attention from the IRS.

Can the IRS Levy 1099 Income?

The IRS can levy 1099 income in certain cases, such as when an individual owes back taxes or has otherwise engaged in tax fraud. Generally speaking, 1099 income refers to any money that is paid as part of an independent contract work or self-employment. This type of income is documented on Form 1099-MISC and is typically subject to withholding at a rate of 10%. In order for the IRS to levy 1099 income, they must first complete the form 668-A and send it to you along with a Notice of Levy. Once this has been done, they are legally empowered to begin garnishing your 1099 earnings to satisfy your outstanding liability.

Can the IRS Take my House?

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is a federal government agency responsible for collecting taxes and enforcing tax laws. The agency has a number of tools at its disposal to collect unpaid taxes, including wage garnishments, bank levies, and property seizures. In most cases, the IRS will take action to collect taxes before resorting to seizing a taxpayer's home. However, if a taxpayer owes a large amount of taxes and has not made any effort to repay the tax liability, the IRS may take the drastic step of seizing the taxpayer's home. If the IRS does take action to seize a taxpayer's home, the taxpayer will have the opportunity to contest the seizure in court. However, it is important to note that the burden of proving that the seizure is unwarranted rests with the taxpayer. 

Can the IRS Seize Money from a Trust?

The short answer to this question is yes – under certain circumstances, the IRS can seize money from a trust. Trusts are legal arrangements that allow assets and income to be managed by trustees on behalf of another person or group of people. While trust funds are not technically property owned by the trust, they do maintain a level of control over financial assets and funds. Because trusts fall under certain reporting requirements, the IRS has the ability to audit trust accounts and potentially seize any funds that are deemed to be in violation of trust guidelines or tax laws. However, it is important to note that trust funds can also be protected from seizure in certain situations, so it is essential to seek professional advice before making any decisions about your trust fund.

Can a Tax Levy Be Released?

Yes, the IRS can release a tax levy. To get the IRS to stop a levy that’s already in place, you need to pay in full, set up a payment plan, or settle through an offer in compromise. Alternatively, you can wait for the statute of limitations to expire, or you can get the IRS to label you as “uncollectible”.

How Can I Avoid a Tax Levy?

The best way to avoid a tax levy is to stay in full compliance with the IRS. In other words, filing on time and paying the tax you owe. Moreover, you also need to respond to any notices you receive from the IRS. If you cannot afford to pay your taxes, let the IRS know and try to make arrangements.

What Is the Difference Between a Tax Levy and a Tax Lien?

A tax lien is the government’s “invisible” claim on your property. However, a tax levy is the actual seizure of your assets. With a levy the IRS can take money from bank accounts, garnish wages, or even seize your physical property.

Are There Tax Professionals Who Can Help With a Tax Levy?

Yes, there are many tax professionals who specialize in finding solutions for taxpayers who are in trouble. Tax laws are complex, and a tax professional can help you navigate the situation successfully. Our network of professionals easily allows you to find the top-rated tax professionals that can help with a particular problem. You can start your search below. If you have a tax levy problem, select the agency that is issuing the levy and select tax levy as the problem. The results will yield you the top pros that can help with your particular situation.


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