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IRS Seizure of Property & Assets Defense

How to Protect Assets From IRS Seizure

The IRS is many things. One of them is the most powerful collections agency in the world. If you find yourself on the wrong side of the IRS, they can garnish your wages, close your business and seize your assetsWhy? Because they can.

937,514 Americans have delinquent tax accounts with the IRS.

If you owe money to the IRS, you are not alone. If you owe more than $5,000 you are probably starting to panic and wondering what assets can be seized by the IRS.

The good news is, there are some assets that the IRS can’t touch.

Keep reading for more information on what the IRS can and cannot take and how to avoid getting to that point in the first place. 

How You Can Stop The IRS

If you are at the point where the IRS is threatening to seize your assets, Silver Tax Group can help protect you. Our tax lawyers have more than 40 years of tax defense experience throughout the nation, and we have a proven ability to resolve the tax issues facing individuals and businesses.

We can begin by processing a hardship filing, offer in compromise or an installment agreement. Our experienced tax attorneys are skilled negotiators who will keep your goals and needs at the forefront of everything we do.


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How IRS Property Seizure Works

When a taxpayer owes back taxes to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the agency has the power to collect those taxes through various means, including seizing property owned by the taxpayer. This process is known as an IRS property seizure and can be a daunting experience for taxpayers who are not familiar with how it works.
The IRS can seize any property that is legally owned by the taxpayer, including real estate, vehicles, bank accounts, and even personal belongings. Before an IRS property seizure can occur, the agency must provide notice to the taxpayer of their intent to do so. This notice will include information about what property is being targeted and why it is being seized.
Once an IRS property seizure takes place, the agency will typically sell off the seized assets at auction in order to pay off the outstanding tax debt owed by the taxpayer. If there is any money leftover after all debts have been paid, it will be returned to the taxpayer.
It’s important for taxpayers to understand that they do have rights when it comes to an IRS property seizure. For example, if a taxpayer can prove that certain assets are necessary for their livelihood or that they are exempt from seizure under federal law, they may be able to prevent those assets from being seized.
If you’re facing an IRS property seizure or worried that one may be imminent due to unpaid taxes, it’s important to seek professional help from a qualified tax attorney or other tax professional. They can help guide you through the process and work with you to come up with a solution that minimizes your financial impact while still satisfying your tax obligations.

How Long Will the IRS Give Before Property Seizure?

The length of time the IRS gives before property seizure can vary depending on the circumstances. Generally, the IRS will only seize property after multiple attempts to contact the taxpayer and resolve the issue.
However, if the taxpayer fails to respond or make arrangements to pay their tax debt, seizure action may begin. It’s important for taxpayers to be proactive in communicating with the IRS and making arrangements to resolve any outstanding tax liabilities before seizure becomes necessary.

Put An Immediate Stop To IRS Asset Seizure

As soon as you choose us to handle your tax issues, we will file a power of attorney, notifying the IRS that you are being represented by a tax attorney. This will put a stop to the asset seizure and allow us the opportunity to get to the bottom of your situation and find a solution that works for all parties.

Contact us today to put a stop to tax liens, levies and the seizure of your assets. We offer a free case evaluation and flat-fee pricing. Financing and affordable payment plans are available.

How Much Do You Owe The IRS?

When you owe large amounts of money to the IRS and carry significant tax debt your income and financial assets are at risk of being seized by the IRS. The IRS will not take these measures until you have ignored repeated warnings to pay what you owe.

If you fail to heed these warnings, the IRS will take action to collect, whether it’s by garnishing your wages or seizing your assets. When the IRS finally does come for what it is owed, the consequences are serious.

What Items Can Be Seized?

The IRS has serious power when it comes to collecting what it is owed. The IRS has the right to seize any asset or item that has equity, which they can sell for cash. They can take any item you own from heirloom jewelry to retirement investments.

What’s worse is that once these items have been seized by the IRS, they are gone. The IRS will quickly sell your items, usually at a public auction. They will use the money that they get from the sales to reduce the amount of tax debt you owe. They will take whatever they can in an effort to pay off your debt as quickly as possible.

What Assets Can Be Seized?

The IRS will not stop at seizing your items to satisfy your tax debt. They will also seize any assets that you have. Similarly to how they handle item seizure, the IRS will quickly resell your assets and apply what they recover to your tax bill. So, what exactly can they take?

The IRS can take any asset that is not essential to your basic needs of survival and shelter. The IRS commonly seizes vehicles including cars, trucks, boats, RVs, and motorcycles. They will take fine jewelry, especially if it contains gold, silver, or other precious metals that are easy to sell. Vacation homes and second homes are up for grabs as well.

When it comes to less tangible assets, the IRS can and will take money from your savings and retirement accounts. They will also take any money you are collecting from life insurance policies and many government benefits.

Can The IRS Take Your House?

The short answer is yes, the IRS does, indeed, have the legal right to seize a taxpayer’s personal residence if taxes are in arrears.

Before panicking, though, there is some comfort in knowing that residential property seizure is not a tactic the agency resorts to often. There are some criteria the IRS looks at before determining whether they even want your house. Remember, the property is only worth something to the government if it can be sold and converted to cash. For quick sale at auction, the agency typically values the seized property at 80% of the actual market value.

Before putting your home on the auction block, the taxpayer typically gets about 10 days to address the tax arrears and reclaim the property. If you have no equity in the house, there are laws in place that prevent the IRS from seizing the property. This is likely to protect the IRS from itself, so the agency doesn’t up with an inventory of low-value houses that won’t cover the tax debts owed.

The government has far more efficient and cost-effective ways to collect back taxes. Putting an individual or a family on the street isn’t in the government’s long-term interest. But bear in mind, even if you are able to avoid losing your property under these laws, it doesn’t mean you get out of your tax debt.

The IRS cannot seize your property if:

  • The IRS missed seizing the property before the end of the collection period established on their taxpayer notification
  • You have set up a signed installment plan to pay your arrears over time
  • You and/or your family would face extreme financial hardship due to the loss of your home. Note: This will be determined by the IRS, not you.
  • Releasing the seizure back to you prior to the auction sale will help you pay the taxes owed.

At every step of the process, the laws gives you the right to appeal the IRS decisions and actions taken, right up through the U.S. judicial system, if necessary. In most cases, working with a knowledgeable tax attorney will be the first and most important step you can take if you are under threat of property seizure.

Are You At Risk?

Before things get to the point where the IRS is picking up your car, you will have plenty of opportunities to settle your tax debt with the IRS. In fact, before the IRS can seize an asset they will send you a 30-day notice. The IRS will give you ample time and notice to resolve your debt before they seize your assets.

If you cannot pay your debt in full, you can pay it in installments. The IRS will negotiate a monthly payment plan to help pay off your debt without risking the seizure of your assets. It takes a while to get to the point of losing your assets to the IRS. In fact, if you owe less than $5,000 you likely won’t have to worry about losing your assets to the IRS.

Wage Garnishment

If you owe a small amount to the IRS, they will collect their debt in other ways. The most common means for collecting smaller amounts are garnishing wages and seizing federal tax refunds. The IRS can garnish your wages without a court order. It can also do so at higher percentages than other bill collectors.

They will continue to garnish your wages until they collect every cent that they are owed. When your debt has been satisfied, they will release the levy on your wages. You don’t have to be employed to have your income garnished. The IRS will seize your income in the form of social security benefits, unemployment benefits, welfare checks, and worker’s compensation payments. The IRS cannot take money that is received for social security disability or money that is owed for back child support.

What Can't The IRS Take?

You might be wondering if there is a limit to what the IRS can take. While they do have the right to seize all kinds of assets and income, they cannot take what you and your family need to survive from day to day.

The IRS cannot take the house that you live in or the car that is your primary means of transportation. Interestingly, the IRS cannot take clothing, tools, supplies, or furniture that is needed for work or school. It also cannot take anything that has no equitable value just to punish the taxpayer for their delinquency.

If the IRS cannot sell an item for cash at auction, they cannot take it from you. While the IRS can take unemployment benefits and welfare payments, they try not to if they are your only source of income. It’s important to stay on top of your debt and avoid getting to this point in the first place.

In rare cases, the IRS may even forgive your debt if you have experienced a significant hardship.

Can You Do an Installment Agreement on a IRS Seizure?

According to the IRS website, it is possible to set up an installment agreement after an IRS seizure. The website states that “If you have assets seized by the IRS and are unable to pay the full amount of taxes owed, you may be able to enter into an installment agreement with the IRS.”

However, it’s important to note that setting up an installment agreement does not necessarily mean that seized assets will be returned. It’s best to consult with a tax professional for guidance on how to proceed after an IRS seizure.

Why Would the IRS Reject an Installment Agreement?

The IRS may reject an installment agreement if the taxpayer has not filed all required tax returns, if they have not made estimated tax payments, or if they have defaulted on a previous installment agreement. Other factors that could lead to rejection include having excessive current tax liabilities or being involved in an open bankruptcy proceeding.

Consult An Attorney

If you are facing serious tax debt and are worried about what assets can be seized by the IRS, you should consult a tax attorney today. If you are having trouble paying your taxes, your attorney will help you work out a payment plan that works for you. It’s important to take action on your tax debt long before the IRS starts looking into seizing your assets. 
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IRS debt of $682,437, Attorney Silver and his team negotiated the Debt down to zero.

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