A Tax Levy is a legal seizure of your property by the IRS to satisfy a tax liability. Under United States Federal Law, the IRS has the power to execute a Section 6331 Levy and/or seize your property without having to get permission from a court of law.
If your tax debt is not paid or payment arrangements have not been agreed upon, the IRS can seize any type of real or personal property that you may have an interest in. For example, the IRS can:
- Seize and sell property such as a car, boat, house, equipment, royalty rights, etc.
- Levy your property that is held by various entities such as your wages, retirement accounts, dividends, bank accounts, licenses, rental income, accounts receivables, the cash loan value of your life insurance and/or commissions.
- In a situation where you have a joint bank account, the IRS can levy these accounts also. The bank or any financial institution has a legal obligation to instantly freeze any and all of your accounts. The bank must hold these funds for 21 days, giving you time to resolve the debt. If the tax debt is not resolved within 21 days, the bank, by law, is required to transfer your funds to the IRS.
Please note that if you are informed by an individual or an institution that a levy can be released instantly is not providing you with all the facts. Each taxpayer's situation is different and, although a levy is one of the last straws in the IRS arsenal, there may be prior steps that will need to be corrected before the IRS will even consider removing a levy. Remember, each case is different and what works for one taxpayer may not work for another.