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Avoiding an IRS property seizure

On Behalf of | Jul 25, 2017 | IRS Issues

Fears about the consequences of IRS debt are common among Atlanta residents who owe or think they owe a tax bill. Some of the persistent worries deal with the possibility of a tax lien, wage levy or asset seizure. The individual facing possible collections actions by the IRS may need to contact an attorney for specific advice on their case and help in fighting a possible seizure. However, there are some general points that anyone can understand about the seizure process.

The truth is that the IRS is capable of seizing nearly all assets owned by a debtor, including real estate and businesses, with the exclusion of small items of little value. The positive counterpoint to this is that the same 1998 Tax Act that authorized these seizures also protects debtors who owe the IRS less than $5,000.

The good news continues in that the IRS must undergo a procedure prior to seizure, garnishment of wages and other collections activity. The first step is a contact letter sent to the debtor that explains the tax bill. A debtor then has time to file an appeal, pay the bill in full or begin making monthly payments. They may also retain an attorney to negotiate a reduction of penalties or plan a strategy to prevent seizure.

The IRS can and does undertake collections efforts every year. If an individual is facing an IRS audit or living in fear of the collections process already, an attorney may be able to help. The legal advisor could help with negotiations to reduce or eliminate penalties, secure the return of seized assets and provide protection against other collection actions.