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IRS Bank Levy

A levy is an aggressive collection tactic by the IRS whereby property is simply seized by the federal government to satisfy a tax liability. A taxpayer can be in the checkout line at the grocery and find their debit card suddenly doesn’t work. It is as simple as that.


A levy is different from a lien. A lien is placed as security for a tax debt. A levy is the actual seizure of a taxpayer’s financial or personal assets. The IRS can levy assets belonging to the taxpayer, or it can levy assets held for the taxpayer by a third party such as a bank or a brokerage. Or, most seriously, assets held by an employer, such as a paycheck. Once again, it’s much easier to prevent a levy than to lift one. Most of the levies imposed by the IRS are automated and simply go into effect once some simple criteria are met. For example, a levy is likely if a taxpayer defaults on a prior agreement or fails to file past due returns or fails to pay past due debts by the promised date. A levy is often simply an attempt to get the attention of a taxpayer who has been unable or unwilling to respond to IRS collection attempts or attempts at negotiation. If the intent is to get the taxpayers attention, it is very effective.

When the IRS threatens a levy, listen. Pay attention. You must ensure you have effective representation. Can you handle it yourself? Sure. Can you remove your own appendix? Sure. (But it’s probably not a good idea.) Get the point? This is the largest and most powerful collection agency in the world. You need somebody to get your back. The professionals at Cornerstone Tax Resolution are experts at IRS negotiation and settlement. Attempting to handle something alone that can devastate your financial health and that of your family is probably not the best of ideas.