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Levies And Liens

Get Proper Advice On Levies And Liens


The IRS has long since maintained that its policies and procedures are intended to look after the government’s interests and take whatever steps are necessary to protect them. If it is determined that a taxpayer has persistently and deliberately refused to make payments towards a tax liability, or has failed to timely and effectively resolve that debt, the IRS may move forward with collection action by filing a federal lien or levy against business and/or personal assets such as property, wages, and bank accounts.

In fact, property liens and bank levies are the most common collection methods used by the IRS. However, many taxpayers may not realize the difference between a levy and a lien, the potential consequences of having one assessed against an individual, or one’s legal rights to preventing or removing them.


An IRS levy is the lawful seizure of property to satisfy an outstanding tax debt. If a taxpayer fails to pay or make arrangements to settle an outstanding tax debt, the IRS may legally confiscate assets to satisfy that debt. There are a variety of assets the IRS may levy, including the following:

  • Bank Accounts – the withdrawal of funds directly from one’s bank account
  • Garnishment of Wages, Salary, or Other Income – the appropriation of financial resources, which may include bonuses and commissions
  • Property and Rights to Property – the seizure and subsequent auctioning of any real or personal property
  • Residence/Principle Residence – any residences owned by the taxpayer
  • Business Assets – any of the taxpayer’s tangible property used in the trade of his/her business


A tax lien is a lawful restriction placed on one’s property that will prevent the selling or borrowing against that property until the debt is paid in full. It is the government’s legal claim to a taxpayer’s property when a tax debt has been neglected or otherwise unsettled. Because tax liens are filed with the County Clerk in the county where the taxpayer lives or owns assets, or where the taxpayer’s business operates or owns assets, they are public records that will most likely show up on a credit report.


Be aware that you have a limited time to respond to IRS collection notices before tax levies or liens are filed against you. Once a levy or lien is assessed, there are a number of negative effects that may ensue, such as added stress, financial hardship, the restriction or loss of property, and a lowered credit score. While it may be possible to prevent a levy or a lien, it is much more difficult to remove one that has already been assessed without paying the debt in full.

However, there are laws intended to protect taxpayers if substantial financial hardship can be shown. Consulting with a reputable and trustworthy attorney experienced in tax law may be the best chance in resolving your tax problems.

Contact Our Firm For Help

Protecting your rights in a tax-related matter may not be easy to do on your own. With the help of an attorney, you will gain a better understanding of not only the law, but also how it applies to your situation.

To speak with a lawyer at our firm, call 865-566-0125 or send us an email. All initial telephone consultations at Easter & DeVore, Attorneys at Law, are free. We accept credit cards as payment for additional fees.

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