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IRS Bank Levy | What It Is and How to Stop One | Flat Fee Tax Relief

A levy by the IRS is a legal seizure of your wages, paycheck, bank accounts and/or real property in order to enforce a tax debt. One of the most common and simple types of levies by the IRS is the bank levy. Before an IRS bank levy process begins to take place, the IRS will send you a Notice and Demand for Payment, which notifies you that you owe a certain amount of back federal taxes, including any interest and penalties that the IRS has assessed on the taxes that you owe. Assuming that you do not pay the tax, interest, and penalties assessed, the IRS then will give you a 30-day levy notice, which is called a “Final Notice of Intent to Levy and Notice of Your Right to A Hearing.” This IRS notice can be given to you personally, left at your home or business, or sent to your last known address by registered or certified mail. As you can read here, you may never actually get this notice in your hand. During that 30-day period, you have the opportunity to resolve your back taxes with the IRS. If you do not respond to this "Final Notice" or otherwise take any action to resolve the issue, the IRS may decide to issue a bank levy.

An IRS bank levy occurs when the IRS places a hold, or freezes your bank account. This is done in order to seize the funds in your bank account to pay off back taxes that you owe. Once the freeze is put into place, you have only 21 days before the bank turns over those funds to the IRS. The 21 day window includes Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, so you do not have a moment to waste. Even worse, if the IRS levy does not seize the full amount of back taxes that you owe, the IRS will continue place levies on your bank account once additional funds are available, so long as you owe back taxes.

Your Options for Stopping an IRS Bank Levy or

Bank Account Garnishment


Collection Due Process Hearings

Before the bank levy process begins, you can request a Collection Due Process Hearing with the IRS pursuant to the 30-day levy notice. During this hearing, you may be able to persuade the IRS that a bank levy should not be issued against you for various reasons. For example, you paid the taxes in full, the tax debt was assessed while you were in bankruptcy proceedings, a procedural error was made in the tax assessment, or the collect statute expiration date (Statute of Limitations) for a particular year has expired.The Statute of Limitations starts on the day of assessment and not the tax year.

Payment of Taxes in Full

If you could pay your tax debt in full, you wouldn't be here, right now, so let's continue. During the 21-day time period following the IRS notice of levy, you can make efforts to resolve your back taxes with the IRS. If, for instance, you are able to pay the full amount of your back taxes, plus interest and penalties, within that 21-day period, the IRS will immediately release or stop the levy that it has placed on your bank account. As long as you remain current on your monthly payments, you will remain good standing with the IRS. IRS Repayment Plans - IRS Installment Agreement

Perhaps the most common way to avoid an IRS bank levy is to enter into a monthly repayment plan with the IR S (Installment Agreement). A repayment plan allows you to repay the back federal taxes that you owe over time and places you back in good standing with the IRS. Please note: Not all IRS Installment Agreements are "created equal." Don't agree to more than you need to.

IRS Financial Hardship -

Currently not Collectible

Another way to avoid an IRS bank levy is to have the back taxes declared Currently not Collectible (IRS Financial Hardship) by the IRS, in that it would be unfair for the IRS to collect the taxes due to your poor financial situation. You do not have to be "destitute" to qualify. Call our tax professionals for details.

Offer in Compromise

You may be able to avoid an IRS bank levy by entering into an Offer in Compromise, which is a selective IRS program that allows some taxpayers to settle tax debts for less than the total amount that they owe.

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