• The IRS describes a levy as the legal apprehension of assets to fulfill a tax debt. Unlike a lien, which uses the property as collateral, a levy actually seizes the property. Before arriving at a levy, the IRS must satisfy certain legal procedures.

    Levy Authority

    Typically, the IRS does not require a court order to impose a levy. But it must have the court's authority to enter private property and to apprehend assets.

    Levy Criteria

    The IRS arrives at a levy after three legal requirements are satisfied: it evaluated the tax and sent you a Notice and Demand for Payment, you did not pay the tax and it forwarded you a levy notice a minimum of 30 days before the levy.

    Levy Appeal

    You can file a request for a Collection Due Process hearing with the IRS location indicated on the levy notice. The request must be filed within 30 days of the notice date.

    Subject to Seizure

    The IRS can apprehend and sell your property such as your boat, car or house. It can also levy assets that belong to you but are regulated by someone else, such as your wages and bank accounts.

    Levy Completion

    If the IRS levies your income or federal payments, the levy terminates when it is released, you pay the amount you owe or the statute of limitation expires.


    IRS: Levy

    Sullivan Consulting: Notice of Levy

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