Things To Do If the IRS Threatens to Levy Your Bank Account

August 9, 2011 by Jan Roberg
Filed under: IRS 

Photo by Kathy Neufeld on Flickr.com

If you’ve received an IRS notice saying that they intend to levy your bank accounts if you don’t pay up in 30 days, then it’s time to pay attention. Before the IRS actually issues a levy notice, they’ve usually made a few attempts at contacting you and trying to get a payment. If you’ve received an IRS levy notice, it means that the IRS hasn’t heard from you—they think you’ve been blowing them off (which in many cases is true). If you ignore the levy notice, they’ll just take your money and the law is on their side so you need to act now.

First, the responsible thing is to call them, or hire someone to deal with them for you. (I personally think that if you’ve reached this point, it’s best to hire someone—but remember, I do this for a living, so note that I’m biased.)

There are things you can do to prevent the IRS from going through with the levy. Let’s assume that you really do owe the money:

1. You can set up a payment arrangement–you pay off the IRS on a monthly bill schedule

2.Your situation might qualify you for an offer in compromise (the pennies on the dollar thing you see in TV commercials), or

3. Maybe you’re going through hard times and need to be put into the currently uncollectable status—you still owe, but the IRS quits hounding you until you get a job or your situation changes.

But maybe you don’t really owe the money. That’s the big kicker for me. Usually, if you’re getting IRS levy notices, you do owe them money—or at least part of it, but I have seen several cases where my clients don’t owe the IRS anything! A couple of times I have even gotten them refunds instead. If you didn’t do your taxes, and the IRS did them for you, don’t assume that the IRS did them right. When the IRS does your taxes for you, they automatically put you in the highest tax bracket they can justify and you get no deductions or tax credits that you might have qualified for. (Here’s a hint: if you’ve got kids, the IRS probably did your taxes wrong.) Even if you find that you don’t owe the IRS money—you still have to contact them, let them know the situation, and then you’re going to have to provide proof. Usually your proof is your corrected tax return.

Dealing with the IRS is the best way to get yourself out of levy trouble. But here are a few things that you also might want to consider doing while the threat of a levy is still hanging over your head:

1. Make sure your name is taken off of your kids’ and/or parents’ bank accounts. If you’re on someone else’s bank account, the IRS can and will levy that account too.

2. Don’t keep large amounts in your bank accounts. If you’ve got lots of cash, then maybe you can just pay your debt. But usually, this isn’t an option for most people. If your paycheck is going direct deposit into your bank account, get the money out immediately. You can put your cash onto a prepaid Visa debit card. Once the levy is in place, the IRS can only take the funds that are in your account at the time of the levy, if you get another deposit, that money is accessible. Transfer money in only as you need to make payments out of the account.

IRS levies are serious business. Don’t make the mistake of ignoring them.

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Comments

106 Comments on Things To Do If the IRS Threatens to Levy Your Bank Account

  1. Steve on Mon, 12th Mar 2012 5:34 pm
  2. I just received my notice saying I have 30 days to pay some money to the IRS or they will “long list of threats” I am a 100% disabled army vet and my only income is from the VA, which is non taxable disability money. It is just enough for me to survive and believe me, it’s not much. I have been told that the VA disability is the only one the IRS can not levy against…my question is this, if my VA check is direct deposit into a check cashing place system and loaded onto a debit card “this is not a bank” is this something the IRS can take? Would I be better off switching back to getting a paper check monthly instead of the direct deposit?

    Thank you in advance

  3. Admin Roberg on Tue, 13th Mar 2012 2:14 am
  4. Hey Steve,
    Thank you for your service to our country. Now, back to business–First thing is to call the IRS. Tell them, “Hey, I’m a disabled Vet and the only money I get is from my VA disability. Explain the situation from them. Ask if you can be put on their “currently uncollectable” status. It’s quite possible that you’ll qualify. That’s the best thing to do, then you don’t have anything to worry about.
    If you can’t get on the currently uncollectable status–and they still want to levy your accounts, I’d talk to the check cashing place to find out if the can accept a levy. Basically, if a levy is placed–it’s on the money that’s in the bank account on the day the levy is asked for–so I’m thinking you shouldn’t have a problem. But I don’t KNOW for sure, so you’re better off talking to the check cashing place. They’ll know their rules much better than I could tell you.
    Do call the IRS first though. I think you can get the situation resolved and that would be the best thing for you.

  5. Andrea on Mon, 26th Mar 2012 4:13 am
  6. I receieved a notice of intent to levy for 2006 taxes. I was married at the time, still officially married but I was told by my husband that he he did our taxes for 2006. He did not and the IRS filed for me, but they filed it under single. I also have a child. I asked them to give me until April 15th to file, they said no because they attempted payment agreements in the past. The only thing I can think to do is file for bankruptcy under chapter 7. I have any appointment with a bankruptcy attorney tomorrow but since I didnt actually file the taxes for 2006, then I dont beleieve that debt is discharchable. I in know way was willfully evading the IRS. I just didnt understand what was going on. The IRS call center offer no advice, and I could not afford the payment agreement. I dont know what else to do, but Im very scared. should I stop my direct deposit right now?

  7. Admin Roberg on Tue, 27th Mar 2012 12:01 am
  8. Hi Andrea,
    yes stop the direct deposit and don’t leave any cash lying around in your account. Now, what you want to do is to pay some of the tax–even if you don’t have a payment agreement in place–pay some of the tax.

    Here’s why–you cannot amend your returns any more–it’s too late. But, if you file an amended return after the due date, you may be able to reduce the amount owed if you’d paid at least that much. So–I know that you should not have to owe that amount, but if you don’t pay anything–you lose the case. So start paying.

    In the meantime–they’ve issued a levy notice, once the levy goes into effect-the bank must hold any money that’s in your account to pay the tax. So—it’s best if you don’t have much money in there.

    Now–if you can’t afford the payment agreement there are a few options–you can negotiate a lower payment rate. Also, they’ve changed the streamline payment agreement from 60 months to 72 months–so depending upon when you spoke to them that may make the numbers more reasonable.

    If they won’t work with you, then it’s time to pull out the big guns and get an Enrolled Agent on the job. Yes, it costs money, but sometimes we can do things you can’t.

    But in the mean time–stop the direct deposit. The IRS knows when you get paid and they’ll probably issue the levy for pay day.

  9. Steve on Fri, 30th Mar 2012 9:55 am
  10. Thank you for your prompt reply and the information was right on the money! One final question, am I correct in my thinking that the IRS CAN NOT Levy VA disability payments?

    Thank you again,

    Steve M.

  11. Admin Roberg on Sun, 1st Apr 2012 12:18 am
  12. Hey Steve,
    The way the IRS phrases it is that they cannot levy “service connected disability payments” so I would assume that includes VA disability. But–from experience, I had a client who’s military retirement was levied. He used to receive VA disability, but then when he was old enough it was converted to retirment payments–and the retirement did get levied. (I guess the rule is don’t get old?)

  13. morgan on Thu, 5th Jul 2012 10:40 pm
  14. I.ve just got off the phone w/IRS agent, I owe $13K back taxes. Im disabled vet and unempolyed after 30 min of explaining my hardship medically as well as my age IRS have given me “uncollectible status at this time.” should I stiil worry about my direct deposit from VA or should I get a check from VA instead of Direct Deposit? I worry please help

  15. Admin Roberg on Fri, 6th Jul 2012 3:48 pm
  16. Hi Morgan,
    Thank you for your service to our country. You should not worry about anything. Uncollectible status means that the IRS knows you don’t make enough money to pay the bill right now. (Maybe never.)

    About once a year, you’ll get a letter from them. Make sure you open it and just call in to follow up. Usually, that means proving you’re still unable to pay.

    Keep your direct deposit. It’s easier on you and changing to a check won’t change anything.

    They will place a lien on your assets–like your house, but that’s the price you pay for not paying your taxes. Won’t hit you until you sell the house.

    One last thing–do you really owe $13,000? So many times the answer is NO! You mention your age–so if you were retired and receiving Social Security during one of those years–then I guarantee the $13,000 figure is too high. Also, is there some self employment or stock transactions on there? Once again, you were over billed.

    Take advantage of this time where you don’t have to pay to make sure what the debt is. The IRS figures your taxes at the highest possible rate with no deductions. This is going to sound dumb, but the IRS is really bad at preparing tax returns. If they did yours–it’s probably wrong. A human being did not come up with those numbers–a computer did. Do yourself a favor and have it double checked. You’ll be glad you did.

  17. morgan on Thu, 12th Jul 2012 10:04 am
  18. Thank you for responding for my Q’s. It is now waiting game since, IRS have stated that they will be sending me a letter, I am on the look out just for that!
    Yes, IRS did file the taxes for me I do not know how they came out w/ those #’s
    Anyrate, just wanted to tell you thank you for taking a time out to respond. May God be w/us when it comes to face w/IRS

  19. Admin Roberg on Thu, 12th Jul 2012 4:08 pm
  20. Hi Morgan,
    The IRS got those numbers from employers and other places that are required to turn in the information–like pension providers, financial firms, etc. You can ask the IRS to send you the information they used to do your return. You have a legal right to it.
    Good luck with your showdown!

  21. mark on Fri, 13th Jul 2012 6:31 am
  22. I owe my bank money through credit cards which i am paying back through a 3rd party but i am hopefully going to receive some cash soon and looking to see if bank can claim this cash even though i have arrangment in place??

  23. Admin Roberg on Fri, 13th Jul 2012 9:20 am
  24. Hi Mark,
    I’l be honest with you, I don’t know anything about what the bank can do about debt. The IRS would not be able to take that money if you had a payment agreement and were current on it. But the bank would have different rules. Sorry.
    Jan

  25. Carrie on Sat, 14th Jul 2012 9:39 am
  26. I have a question if I move my money to a pre-paid visa card can anyone levy this money or go after it ex: IRS or Judgement from court?? I have been out of work and off unemployment for a while and had a levy once with my bank that I was able to get released but it scared me so now I am paranoid for this to happen again?? Thanks

  27. Admin Roberg on Mon, 16th Jul 2012 10:12 pm
  28. Hi Carrie,
    As of this moment, the IRS is unable to levy a pre-paid Visa card. But the best way to avoid a levy is to get into compliance–file your tax returns, and set up a payment arrangement or get into an offer in compromise or currently uncollectible status.

  29. Christiana on Sat, 22nd Sep 2012 8:00 am
  30. My Ex – husband owed a lot of money to the IRS and he deceided to just leave the Country becaue it’s a huge amount. The IRS after 3 years coming after me and I did not know anything about this because tjat he is NOT PAYING. The divorce paper said he is responsible to pay all his Tax. I just got a new Job as an independent Contractor as an 1099, where I get a Paycheck each week. My question is , when I Cash the Check in a Cash Checking Place and put it on a pre paid Visa, can the IRS still levy my Check directly from the Company when I am a 1099 Employee and they will not notify IRS by end of the Year for Tax purposes? OR can the IRS levy when I try to cash my check? I want to file Bankruptcy in couple month once I have that money saved and also looking for a good attorney . Thanks alot

  31. Admin Roberg on Sat, 22nd Sep 2012 10:52 am
  32. @Christiana,
    Wow. Some ex spouses just keep on giving don’t they?
    To answer your question–you should be fine cashing your check and putting your money on a prepay VISA card. There’s really no way for them to levy your check at a check cashing place. So that’s a short term solution–be we need to solve your much bigger problem–the tax debt.
    First thing to consider–and this could be a long shot but at least try–can you qualify for innocent spouse relief? That’s where you are considered to be completely innocent of your husband’s tax debt. It’s really difficult to win on that grounds, (there’s usually physical abuse involved) but because your divorce decree says he is responsible for all of the debt–it’s worth looking at.
    To be honest–I’m familiar with another case that the divorce decree divided up the tax debt–the ex didn’t pay and the the wife is getting hit with it. Innocent spouse didn’t work there, but we’re now working on an offer in compromise–which might be another option for you.
    It’s hard to say what the best track for you to take is, but it sounds like you’re going to get an attorney and that should help. Everybody’s case is a little different and especially in a case like yours, little issues can make a big difference. Make sure you get good tax advice in addition to talking with an attorney. Most bankruptcies don’t cover tax debt so make sure you know exactly what’s going to be covered and what won’t.
    Good luck.

  33. Christiana on Sat, 22nd Sep 2012 12:05 pm
  34. Thank you so much. I definitly to look for an Attorney. After the little research I’ve done is I can I either do the spousal relief form when this is not working I am forced tp add it to my Bankruptcy Chapter 7..Than this way I do not have to pay back and I talked to an Bankcruptcy attorney and I qualify for chapter 7. I never thought in my life I have to file Bankcruptcy but in this extreme case I am forcen to do that because. But again thank you so much for your fast reply back.
    Christiana

  35. Trina on Tue, 25th Sep 2012 7:51 pm
  36. The State levied my checking. The legal department at the bank stated that they can only hold the funds that were in the account, that they can’t take the direct deposit that is coming through in a few days.
    Is this true? I’m worried that my employer won’t be able to stop my direct deposit. I’ll be working on get a paper check and transfereing the funds on a prepaid Visa card.

  37. Admin Roberg on Fri, 28th Sep 2012 6:55 pm
  38. Hi Trina,
    Your bank person is right, they can only hold the fnds that were in the account when the IRS levied it. They cannot take the direct deposit that is coming. You’re good.

  39. Gordon on Thu, 4th Oct 2012 9:12 pm
  40. I am not a US citizen or permanent resident. I was in the US on a H1B but left in 2006. The IRS last year took some money from my account but I’m sure I do not owe them money. What can I do?

  41. Admin Roberg on Fri, 5th Oct 2012 8:26 pm
  42. Hi Gordon,
    What I recommend is getting an Enrolled Agent in the United States who can represent you. There’s going to be a lot of questions that you couldn’t possibly answer online.
    If you want, you can contact me directly. My email is Jroberg@robergtaxsolutions.com.

  43. Rosa on Sat, 6th Oct 2012 2:07 pm
  44. I just got a mail from my 3 year old bank saying that NY state put a levy on his account for me. My questions are: (1) I did not recieve any letter from them saying they will do a levy from my son account. (2) Can they do that even if he had $13.00 in his account. (3) will this effect my son credit?

  45. Admin Roberg on Sat, 6th Oct 2012 9:03 pm
  46. Oh Rosa,
    I’m so sorry. I’d say I can’t believe it, because I know you’re not making this up. The truth is, yes they can do that. He’s only three so your name has got to be on the account. They must have done a bank search and found your name on there and bam–they got you. Whoopie–they’re going to get a whole $13 out of the deal. But it’s frustrating and embarassing and my goodness he’s only 3!

    I don’t think this will hurt his credit report, the levy isn’t really on him, it’s on you. They just went after his account because you’re on there. I would get one of those free credit reports in his name in a few months just to check. He’s three–it should have nothing on it, but better safe than sorry. If you find something there, you can get it cleared. Clearly, he’s done nothing wrong.

    You didn’t get a letter saying they’d go after your son’s account but I’m guessing that they sent you a letter saying they would go after your account. That will constitute the fair warning. I’m so sorry. It just seems ridiculous that they’d take $13 from a three year old. Just remember, it’s not like there is a human being looking over this stuff and making responsible judgement calls. It’s all computer generated and the computer found your name on his bank account and the “levy” program just kicked into action.

    Be glad that he’s only three, he won’t know his bank account was levied, and be glad that it’s only $13 and no more than that.

    Now, if it’s not too late, you might be able to stop the levy if you get with the IRS and set up a payment arrangement or get yourself into a “currently uncollectible” status. If you’re working and can afford to pay something–payment agreement. If you’re unemployed with no source of income–go for currently uncollectible. You may need to prove your financial circmstance, but you’ll be acting responsibly and getting the IRS problem handled. If you don’t, they’ll continue to go after you and, sadly, your three year old innocent son. Good luck.

  47. Rosa on Thu, 11th Oct 2012 8:51 pm
  48. Thank Ms. Roberg for the advice however I gather all the letters from NY state Taxtation and nothing said anything about putting a levy on any accounts. Don’t they have to send a court document showing that they will be doing this? Now my son has a negative balance of $125.00 from the bank, Oh my goodness. Here I am trying to train my son to save and not make the mistakes I made and they do this. Can my bankruptcy lawyer stop this for me? Also I just opened an account would they go after that too? Looking forward to your advice.

    Regards,
    Rosa

  49. Admin Roberg on Sun, 14th Oct 2012 7:22 pm
  50. Hi Rosa,
    I would check with a New York EA or attorney. Here in Missouri, they always send a notice first, but different states, different rules. I’d be surprised though if New York didn’t send anything. Remember, if they send a notice to a prior address and you haven’t notified the state–it still counts as having sent notice. FYI.

    Now since your son is only 3, I’m thinking he’ll never remember this and probably is totally oblivious to the fact that his account was levied. I wouldn’t lose sleep over that.

    Since they already took the money, I doubt that your bankruptcy lawyer can do anything. But since you’ve got an attorney, he’s probably your best source about New York laws. Good luck.

  51. richard reilly on Sun, 9th Dec 2012 3:18 pm
  52. I received a notice cp504 from the IRS stating that they would levy my State tax refund. I ignored it since I have been sick and in the hospital. I 62 and have been on Social Security Disability since then. I understand that arrangments can be made however I don’t have the money to pay even in installments as I’m paying the State in installments already for taxes owed. I am disabled as I have only one lung that was taken due to cancer and have been in the hospital this year 6 times. I am about to pick up another certified letter and I believe it’s going to levy my SSD income @15%. What should I do other than call them?

  53. Admin Roberg on Mon, 10th Dec 2012 8:52 am
  54. Hi Richard,
    Call them! Seriously, I know you don’t want to but ignoring them is worse. Explain your situation. If you can’t talk very well, have someone make the call for you, but be in the room so that you can grant permission.

    Ask to be placed on “currently uncollectible.” It sounds like your situation would qualify you (but they’ll need to prove your income and expense situation.” It will buy you some time. You’ll eventually need to settle the debt–either paying or making an offer in compromise–if you’ll qualify–but talk to them.

    If you don’t contact the IRS, then it looks like you’re avoiding them and they’ll just levy and take what they want. Sorry. I know it’s not the answer you want, but it’s the right thing to do.

  55. casimir todd on Mon, 10th Dec 2012 8:36 pm
  56. I have a 401K hardship check in excess of 10k needed to replace my car that I had totalled and a few months out of work, but I am afraid to deposit it because I owe taxes… have been getting money levied from my employer checks and was wondering if I were to deposit the check would the IRS take the money I owe them!!!

  57. Admin Roberg on Mon, 10th Dec 2012 8:50 pm
  58. Hi Casmir,
    Basically, the IRS can issue a levy on your bank account after giving you notice. Since you’re already being levied through your paychecks, it’s quite possible that you’ve passed the “notice period” and they can come in anytime. That’s a bit of a problem for you.
    I think your best bet is to contact the IRS directly and find out what their intentions are. You’ve got to cash that check to get your car. If you can go through your bank–that would be the least expensive. If you need to go to one of those check cashing places, you’ll have to pay fees. That said–maybe that’s your safest bet. I don’t like recommending that, but it would keep your check out of the bank.
    Still–talking to the IRS and working out some type of payment plan makes a lot of sense. (Or, given your situation, getting put on the currently uncollectable status would be a good idea.)

  59. Dave on Wed, 12th Dec 2012 12:44 pm
  60. If I owe back taxes and if I open a new checking account will they be alerted right away by my social security # and the account account be frozen, or does it take time for them to find it?

  61. j carroll on Thu, 13th Dec 2012 8:45 pm
  62. i looked at my bank account today. there was a deduction for a large sum. the bank said it was irs. i never received a notice from them saying they were going to take money out. i live in sc. they were sending mail to an old address i called but they wont release my money.

  63. Admin Roberg on Sat, 15th Dec 2012 4:21 pm
  64. Hi Dave,
    It will take a little time for the IRS to find your bank account, but don’t count on it. Your best course of action is to contact the IRS get get your situation straightened out. If you work out a plan with them, they won’t levy. If you can’t pay–be up front with them and get on a currently uncollectable status. If you can pay something–get started on an installment plan.

  65. Admin Roberg on Sat, 15th Dec 2012 4:45 pm
  66. @ j carroll-
    Once the IRS has your money, they don’t give it back. You say that you never received the notice from them–the thing is, under the law, you don’t have to receive it–they just have to send it. If they sent it to the wrong address–the fault lies with you for not information the federal government that you’ve moved. Sorry, I know that sounds harsh, but that’s the way the rules work. I didn’t make them–just repeating them.
    So, here’s the issue–they’ve got your money and you won’t get it back. Are you and the IRS squared now? Or do you owe more and will this happen again?
    They’ve certainly got your attention now. You need to get this thing settled so you don’t have it happen again.

  67. j carroll on Sun, 16th Dec 2012 7:45 am
  68. Well unfortunately I trusted someone who said they were taking care of filing my taxes and I do owe them some money, however, i have requested a call back from them and it hs too soon to have them call i guses…maybe next week. My question now is since they drained my account of about 4000 will they take money out of it every time i put it in? Or will they consider this a payment and possibly not take more money out right away until i can try and get a payment plan worked out?

  69. Admin Roberg on Sun, 16th Dec 2012 3:25 pm
  70. Hey j carroll,
    Technically, they already tood the $4000 they’ll have to levy again to do it again. The catch is, once they’ve got their levy juices going–they don’t have to issue you a separate notice. They can pretty much strike when they feel like it. So–if you have money deposited into the bank, you should probably move it as quickly as possible to prevent another account draining activity. Sorry.

  71. j carroll on Mon, 17th Dec 2012 2:00 pm
  72. about how quickly will they withdraw the money again???? I don’t wanna write out checks and then have it withdrawn before the checks clear….just an approximate time limit.

  73. Admin Roberg on Mon, 17th Dec 2012 8:33 pm
  74. Hi jJ Carroll,
    The IRS says that they usually wait a couple of months before they levy your account again. You won’t get a notice ahead of time though. Now, if you’re talking to the IRS, and telling them that you’re working on it, they won’t levy–or at least they’ll give you a date and say, “we need this information or something by such and such a date, if you don’t do it, then we’ll levy.” So once again, I highly recommend talking to them.

  75. j carroll on Tue, 18th Dec 2012 2:05 pm
  76. talked to them and they gave 30 days. i am taking care of a terminal relative. and they can’t get the info to me for 14 days. is there anyway once i get that i can have it delayed again and if so what can i do to get this delayed. i just have a lot on my plate. you are so helpful

  77. Admin Roberg on Wed, 19th Dec 2012 9:21 pm
  78. Thanks j carroll,
    I find that the IRS is usually rather generous about extending the 30 days when you have a problem like yours. Make sure you call them on around the 29th day so they know you’re on top of things. Good luck with your tax situation. I’m sorry about your relative.

  79. Kristen on Thu, 27th Dec 2012 12:14 am
  80. Hi,

    Last week the IRS placed a levy on my checking account and got about $1100.00, which in turn resulted in a couple overdrafts. The next day I went to the bank so I could cash a check and then deposit cash to at least cover overdrafts, but my bank said that they couldn’t even cash a check because IRS now had “first dibs” on all funds and the bank was second in line. So basically my bank account is unusable. I thought levies were a one time pull not a takeover of all future account funds.

    Here is the background. I was self-employed from 2006 to 2008 as an apprentice then newly licensed real estate appraiser. Never having been self-employed before I was a bit overwhelmed when working on my 2006 taxes and filed and extension. By time extension deadline was nearing the housing/real estate bubble was bursting, and I never filed. 2007 and 2008 I didn’t even make enough to cover expenses, so those years never got filed either. I used credit cards to cover the gap. Since the end of 2008 I have been unemployed. Needless to say, this all compounded my long-standing battle with depression. Fortunately for me, my parents have been able to extend to me loans to cover my cost of living, which I have every intention of paying back in full. After all their help, they were very dissappointed with me to hear the IRS had levied my account.

    To get my life back on track, I knew I had to resolve these issues. I started by getting a CPA to compile and file the back tax returns and initiated a bankruptcy for about 15k on the credit cards I used to cover my income/expense gap during those years. It turns out that the IRS had no 1099′s or records of any kind that I earned income from those years, and it was only my honesty in filing my returns that put me on their radar. If I had never done them they would have never known. (But, I would have). The penalties, and fees were more than the taxes themselves. I started making small payments but of course they wanted them paid in full. I should have called but I didn’t.

    So, here are my questions. Can they keep continous hold on on my bank account? Can they levy funds from 401k and IRA accounts? Will they still negotiate with me even though they have already levied and apparently “commandeered” my bank account? I just this month started working, part-time, but it looks like more hours will be available after the first of the year. My earnings will be sent to a prepaid debit card issued by my employer, can they levy that card? Should I be wary loading other cash on to that card? Or, would they just levy the wages from directly from my employer before they are dispersed to me? Should I give my new employer (a contract security company, had to pass, standard & criminal background checks, fingerprint verification, and a drug test prior to hire) a “heads up” about this situation, not knowing if or when the IRS will contact them?

    I’d really appreciate any advice, suggestions and insights you can give regarding this pickle I have gotten into and now have to get out of. I hope to hear back from you soon. Thank you so much.

    Kristen

  81. Admin Roberg on Tue, 1st Jan 2013 10:15 pm
  82. Hi Kristen,
    First, once the IRS levies your bank account–and that money is taken, it’s taken and your bank account should be normal. I think someone at your bank didn’t know what was going on. I’ve seen that happen before.
    Here’s how it works. The IRS issues the levy–let’s say you’ve got $1100 in the bank at the time–okay so they get the $1100, but they don’t actually take it for 21 days. So after the levy is issued, you deposit $2000, that $2000 that you deposit should be for you to use. The IRS can’t touch it–they’ve got their hooks into the $1100, but they can’t have anything else.
    So–somebody at your bank messed up. The IRS cannot, I repeat, they CANNOT keep a continuous hold on your bank account. That said, they might try to levy again, but they can’t just hold your account in limbo forever.

    The IRS can levy 401(k) accounts and IRAs, but they don’t like to. They get more money out of you if you cash them in to pay tax debt than if they levy them. (The IRS has to forego the 10% penalty of they levy those accounts.) So it’s possible, but highly unlikely that they’d go after those funds.

    The IRS cannot levy a prepaid debit card. What they can do is contact your employer and levy your wages before the money is loaded onto the card.

    I think your best bet is to contact the IRS and work something out with them. If you set up some type of agreement, then they won’t levy your bank account or contact your employer. I don’t think you want them contacting your employer, not in your line of work, so call the IRS. That’s your best move. Good luck.

  83. yvette mason on Tue, 22nd Jan 2013 9:03 pm
  84. I owe the IRS. I know that what I owe I will not be able to pay in full. I submitted an offer in compromise and received a response that stated while investigating, a notice of federal lien could be placed. I have kept good contact with IRS responding to all compromise. I am a single parent with health issues and horrible credit meaning I do not have the means to repay. I barely make enough to support my daughter. What can I expect while waiting to hear if my offer is accepted? And what happens if accepted or not accepted? I received the bill and have been responding in timely manner. I didnt pursue installment option yet as I wanted to try the offer in compromise. I guess I just want to know what I can I expect from IRS? Will my paycheck be levied? Is it a one time thing or continuous? Thanks for your advice. I am reading this and the information seems to be very helpful.

  85. Jan Roberg on Wed, 23rd Jan 2013 8:22 pm
  86. Hi Yvette,
    First off, while the IRS is pondering your offer in compromise–they aren’t going to levy your bank account or garnish your paycheck. The will probably place a lien on your property–that means that if you own your house and try to sell it–you can’t without the IRS getting their money from the sale.
    If you don’t own a home, then the lien would show up in your credit report and could affect you getting a loan. But a lien does not mean they’ll go into your bank account or paycheck.

    So–if the IRS accepts the offer–great. If not, then you’re back to trying to negotiate a payment arrangement.

    If you they do accept the offer, it’s really important to not fall behind on your taxes again. Let’s say the IRS says yes to the offer and then in 2013 you wind up owing a ton of money and you don’t pay by April 15th–BAM! Not only do you owe the 2013 tax money–but your offer is rescinded and you owe all that money again. So–never ever get tripped up with owing federal income taxes again. That’s really important. I’m not saying that to scare you–just to make sure you know about that.

    Good luck with your offer. I hope it goes through.

  87. yvette mason on Thu, 24th Jan 2013 5:38 am
  88. Thanks so much. I plan to stay on top of this 100%. I don’t own a home but hope when things shake out, I will have everything in place. Thanks again for your time.

  89. Vanessa on Tue, 29th Jan 2013 2:21 pm
  90. Can the IRS place a levy on a pre-paid visa card issued by Chase bank? I have a regular banking account at Chase also but I only keep a few hundred on there just to pay bills. If I get direct deposit to my pre-paid Visa for my tax return is the IRS able to touch that money? I owe both the IRS from a repossessed car that was sold & student loans and every year for the past 3 years both the State and IRS fight over that money. I have plans in place to repay the IRS what I owe them, which is only $300 but I cant do that until I get my refund.

  91. Jan Roberg on Tue, 29th Jan 2013 9:21 pm
  92. Hi Vanessa,
    The IRS can’t levy a pre-paid Visa Card BUT–and this is important–they can keep your refund from going to the card in the first place. And I think that’s your situation. The IRS will keep the $300 (or whatever you owe them) and the rest of your refund will be delayed. Sorry.

  93. Arhtur on Sat, 9th Feb 2013 8:02 pm
  94. I setup a monthly payment plan with the IRS before we filed our 2012 taxes and it was accepted. But only to come find out that they deducted from our refund the full amount due. What can I do to rectify that with the IRS or will they even consider putting the balance back towards my refund so we can continue with the payment plan we set up ?

  95. Jan Roberg on Sun, 10th Feb 2013 9:56 pm
  96. Hi Arthur,
    Your taxes are all paid up. Be glad its done. You’ll be saving yourself money in the long run.

  97. Jan Roberg on Sun, 10th Feb 2013 10:04 pm
  98. Hi Fernando,
    You might be able to claim your parents. Here is a link to the IRS website questinaire about claiming dependents. http://apps.irs.gov/app/ita/app/investigate.action?screenId=s1%40TLC_Dependents_Development_Screens_DEPLanding_xint&ts=1360555360518&ita=Dependents&factId=Dependents&entity=global&screenEntityInstanceName=global&itascreenid=Who+Can+I+Claim+as+a+Dependent%3F-s1%40TLC_Dependents_Development_Screens_DEPLanding_xint&screenEntity=global&entityInstanceName=global

    Wow, that’s a pretty long web address. Anyway, you will need to apply for ITIN’s for your parents, and there are some other issues that you’ll need to be able to prove, but unlike the people with families in India–people may be able to claim family members in Mexico.

    Do go through the questionaire to make sure your parents can be claimed.

  99. Dell Dumas on Tue, 12th Feb 2013 9:36 am
  100. Good Morning. If only part of my State tax refund was placed on hold by the IRS, does that mean that I will receive the remainder of the state refund? Also does this now mean my IRS tax debt is now paid in full? My thinking is that if I owed more than what was placed on hold, then they would have taken the entire refund. Am I correct? Thank you for your time.

  101. Jan Roberg on Thu, 14th Feb 2013 9:10 pm
  102. Hey Dell,
    I’m not sure–you’re talking about your state refund. Is the IRS confiscating your state refund? Is the IRS levying that? If they are and they only took half, then it sounds like you’ll get the rest. I’m not 100% positive, but that’s the way it sounds to me.

  103. laurie on Wed, 20th Feb 2013 10:33 am
  104. Hi, my mom has recently had all of her bank accounts frozen by the IRS. She can’t pay her bills.

    She has several checks for large amounts of money. Is it legal for her to sign these over to me, so that I can deposit them in my account and give her cash as needed? Are there any criminal or civil federal implications on me if I do this? I doubt state enters into this at all, but I live in Maryland.

    Thanks.

  105. Jenny on Tue, 26th Feb 2013 5:46 pm
  106. Ok, so my bank account was levied by the State and the bank is holding that amount for 21 days. Then the state will get their money but I got my federal refund and they subtracted that same amount I owed the state and they will give that to them in about 3 weeks. So to me it seems that the State will get their money twice. Once from my bank and also from my federal refund. Is that possible and if that does happen will the state or irs refund me one of those amounts? So confused!

  107. Diane on Wed, 27th Feb 2013 1:31 am
  108. I had an installment agreement to pay 50.00 per month as I’m on SSI and do not receive a lot of money. Something happened to where my payment for January was not accepted yet I did not know until I received a notice “intent to terminate installment agreement” on 2/4/13 unless I paid in full by 2/19/13. I have had an agreement for 2 years and this was the first time my payment was returned, will my account be levied? I have tried to contact them and the line is always busy and I did make a 50.00 payment recently. What could I expect now?

  109. sherri on Fri, 1st Mar 2013 6:26 pm
  110. I did an offer and comp they accepted it for 30 k from 69k I couldnt come up with the 10k downpayment and then make 1400.00 payments until it was pd in 24 mths so they cancelled my oic. I received a levie notice I dont have a home in my name or bank acct in my name or car in my name or job at this time because i was laid off. I am up to date with all my filing yrs even this yr 2011 I was told in 10 yr 30 days it all will be gone and zero balance but will go up to 250k in taxes owed. I know its ruined my credit but it was ruined anyway from divorce. I feel I have nothing to loose if I just wait out 8 more yrs. What do you think should I try to make payments or file Bankruptcy and make sure it would be in it or, just wait it out.. I dont have anything to take but my boys have 2 homes in a trust that I live in and rent out with an aunt as the trustee. Advice will be appreciated. Thanks Sherri

  111. Chris on Sat, 2nd Mar 2013 11:11 am
  112. Hi Jan-

    I had an issue with my state taxes in 2000 and was contacted in 2006 about the situation, with the state telling me that I owed them almost $10,000. In 2000 I was a student and had part time jobs on and off, but have no idea how I’d come to owe the state that much money. There was a year or two where I remember not filing back then (I was young and dumb). After they’d contacted me, they wouldn’t give me an explanation to why I owed that much money. I talked to several representatives, pleading my case and finally they stopped calling.

    The other day I’d received a NSF alert on my mobile phone for one of my bank accounts. A levy was put on all of my accounts, draining each one. Now I have no money, no way to pay bills including my rent and car payment, and no money for groceries this week. Nobody had contacted me and I had no idea that this was coming. I talked to a friend of mine at the bank and he gave me a contact number to call. of course it’s the weekend and I’ll have to wait until Monday but I’m unsure of what options I have to fix this.

    Are they required to provide me with the evidence to why they think I owe them that much money?

    If there’s a glitch in their system and this was a mistake, is there legal action I can take for putting me through this hardship?

    I just don’t understand how I could owe more money in taxes that year than what I probably made, even if I failed to file.

    Thank you ahead of time!

  113. Kenneth K on Sun, 3rd Mar 2013 8:51 am
  114. I owe roughly 4k for 2009, 2010, and 2011 and want to make a payment arrangement w/ them, will they work with me, they say i didnt file in 2004 but was owed a refund that year, how can i get that applied to my tax debt ….will i see a irs collector at my job?

  115. Jan Roberg on Sun, 3rd Mar 2013 4:05 pm
  116. Hi Laurie,
    For one thing, if your mom deposits those checks into her own bank account after the levy, the bank has to release those funds to her. They can only hold the funds that were in the account at the time the IRS issued the levy.

    That said, she may not feel comfortable having her money in the bank.

    It is not illegal for her to sign the checks over to you and have you give her money as she needs it.

  117. Jan Roberg on Thu, 7th Mar 2013 9:58 pm
  118. Hi Jenny,
    If the state gets it’s money twice, you will eventually get your money back. It will take them awhile to sort things out, but you will get your money. Make sure that you follow up if you don’t get your money within a month. Then follow up again in another month if nothing happens.

  119. Jan Roberg on Thu, 7th Mar 2013 10:00 pm
  120. Hi Brad,
    If you have an exchange rate for a specific date, that’s the best choice.

  121. Jan Roberg on Thu, 7th Mar 2013 10:01 pm
  122. Hi Diane,
    You will need to contact them and wait on hold (forever). You’ll want to reinstate your installment agreement. Get through to them before they levy you.

  123. Jan Roberg on Sun, 10th Mar 2013 9:01 am
  124. Hi Sherri,
    You’ve just told the tragic tale of what happens when you don’t keep up with your offer in compromise–you miss your payments and you lose your deal. And you owe a lot of money to the IRS. But here’s a few more things you need to know: one–while you are in an OIC, the statute of limitations is suspended–that means that the clock isn’t ticking on the 10 years. The clock also stops during a bankruptcy. The IRS has all sorts of ways to make the clock stop.
    Plus, do your really want to put another 10 years of your life on hold? Seriously. Right now you can’t do anything. If you had enough earnings that you owe the IRS $69,000–don’t you want another good job? Do you really want to keep hiding for 10 years?
    I suggest that you contact the IRS, and get yourself into a payment agreement. Explain all the issues, why you can’t pay more than $X and work something out. Whatever you do, make a schedule that you actually can keep, not one that you’re going to miss deadlines on. And then live your life, the one that you’re supposed to live, not one where you’re hiding from the government for 10 years. You deserve better than that.

  125. Jan Roberg on Sun, 10th Mar 2013 9:12 am
  126. Hi Chris,
    You’re not going to like my answer–I’ll warn you now. The state contacted you in 2006–you didn’t respond. It took them 7 years before they actually levied your bank account. But technically–they did contact you back in 2006. So you won’t be able to sue them for not warning you. I know, that stinks, but there you have it.

    Now, the money’s gone and you’re not going to get it back. I’m guessing that you never filed your tax return. What you should have done back in 2006 was to find out what the problem was and fix your 2000 year return back then.

    Since you never filed, you may be able to file now and at least prevent any further damage.

    While the IRS has a statute of limitations of 10 years–the states are a different animal. Here in Missouri, I’ve got a taxpayer who owes for 1989. Although Missouri has a statute of limitations, they can extend it if they have filed a lien–and they just keep renewing those liens before they expire.

    If your funds are still tied up, you may be able to contact the state and have them release some funds for your necessary bills. Have access to a fax machine and copies of the bills ready. I’ve done that before for clients with the IRS–I don’t know how your state will react.

    The whole point of the levy is to get your attention–which it did. Get this old issue handled and out of the way. Make sure you don’t have any other old debts that they intend to levy on either. Good luck.

  127. Jan Roberg on Sun, 10th Mar 2013 12:13 pm
  128. Hi Kenneth,
    First, the IRS will not apply your 2004 refund to anything because the statute of limitations has worn out. Sorry.

    But they will work with you on a payment agreement. Call them, make a deal. If you call them, they won’t be coming to your work. I’m thinking the minimum payment they will accept would be about $60 a month. If you can pay more, do so and get it taken care of. They just keep piling on interest if you don’t pay if off.

  129. Chris on Wed, 13th Mar 2013 8:58 am
  130. Thanks, Jan. I was able to get in contact with a representative with the Iowa Department of Revenue and it sounds like they had never received any record of me filing. He told me that the state generates a return based on my likely income for that year (apparently they thought I made 6 figures while I was in school?!).

    I contacted the IRS, got a transcript for that year, and refiled. I’ll follow up this week to see if my issue is fixed. The representative also told me that the state hadn’t taken the money yet. The bank is holding it and if the issue isn’t resolved within a certain amount of time, the bank will issue a check for the amount held to the Department of Revenue. Hopefully we’ll come to a resolution soon.

    I’ll go ahead and speak on behalf of this whole message board. THANK YOU for taking the time to help us out!

    I’ll keep you posted regarding my situation.

  131. Jan Roberg on Wed, 13th Mar 2013 8:54 pm
  132. Thank you Chris,
    I appreciate the comments. Good luck and do keep us posted on what happens.

  133. allen on Wed, 27th Mar 2013 8:54 am
  134. IRS stated I never filed my returns. Notices they sent went to an address I never lived at. Got notice at work of garnishment. I was laid off and all severance was garnished. Been a year and a half and company is hiring again. Will that same levy be in place if I am rehired?

  135. Martha on Sat, 30th Mar 2013 5:35 pm
  136. My daughter signed a lease agreement with an apartment complex in VA and after a few months into her second year of the lease she fell into a hardship and was unable to pay her rent the rental office evicted her now they have a lawyer that have put a levy on her bank account. they took $264 plus 125 in the first transaction and two weeks later they took her pay check of 900. her account is frozen and she can not get anything out of it. My question is how long can they keep a levy on her bank account? The 389 was the amount she had in the bank when the levy was put on the account, but the 900 came into her bank two weeks later and they still got it as well.

    If she was to get a pre-paid visa card could they find out about that account and levy it as well. they sued her for 6 months of rent because they said she broke the lease, but they actually evicted her and she had no choice but to leave.

    any information would be appreciated.
    thank you
    th

  137. Barb D on Tue, 14th May 2013 1:55 pm
  138. I have a single account. Before I got married my husband had a past amount due to IRS. He was living with a woman, and taking care of her children. So she convinced him it was legal for him to claim them. She then turned around and had the biological father claim them as well. Getting money from both men, out of the deal. When it all hit the fan, they came back to my now Husband for that money that was refunded to him. Now fast forward to today, I’m married to him. He owe’s 2900.00 and they sent out a levy form. My question to you is, can they levy my account if his name isn’t on it, but his Direct deposits go into my account?

  139. Barb D on Tue, 14th May 2013 1:57 pm
  140. Oh I forgot to add, that they are already going into his pay check and deducting money as well. I’m confused about it, because they keep sending letters as if he isn’t making payments. Although that isn’t true as they take extra for his past debt, every paycheck!

  141. Jan Roberg on Sat, 15th Jun 2013 8:50 pm
  142. Hi Allen,
    So the IRS garnished your severance pay a year and a half ago and now you’re getting rehired. Will they still garnish your pay?
    My best advice is for you to call them. Figure out where you stand, file those back tax returns, and make some sort of arrangement so they don’t garnish your wages.
    My best guess is the garnishment won’t be active right now as you’ve been gone from that company for over a year. That said, once the IRS finds out that you’re working (probably next tax season) if you still owe them money, then they will be going after it. Beat them to the pucnchline and get yourself caught up.

  143. ahom on Sun, 23rd Jun 2013 11:43 pm
  144. My mom is a co-signer on my bank account and she has received a notification that the IRS is threatening to levy her AND my bank accounts. She has been a co-signer on my account since I’ve been living abroad and it was nice to have her able to access my account when need be to deposit money etc. Is there a way to remove her from my account before the levy goes into place so I don’t have my money being paid to the IRS?? Or can she contact the IRS and explain that my account should be left alone?!

  145. Ed on Tue, 25th Jun 2013 10:30 am
  146. So the IRS has caught up with me, I need to file for the last 5 years and fear I may owe up to 50-60k in back taxes not counting late Penalties or interest. They kept my last return and are taking about 75% of my check. If I get a 2nd job will they take 75% of that too? Help. Advice?

  147. Jan Roberg on Mon, 1st Jul 2013 8:14 pm
  148. Hi Ed,
    The IRS is already levying you so you’ve really got nothing to lose here. If you get another job, they’ll find you eventually and they’ll start garnishing that check as well. So, what to do?
    File those back tax returns. That’s step one. They won’t negotiate with you without it. At 50-60 thousand dollars, I’m thinking it’s time to make an offer in compromise it you come anywhere close to qualifying. Here’s a link to the IRS web-site “pre-qualifier” to see if an offer would work for you: http://irs.treasury.gov/oic_pre_qualifier/

    Even if you don’t qualify there, you can probably do some paperwork to set up some type of payment arrangement so that they’re not taking a full 75% of your paycheck every week. Good luck.

  149. Jan Roberg on Mon, 1st Jul 2013 8:20 pm
  150. Hi Ahom,
    I would have her contact the IRS and explain that she is only a cosigner on the account because you are currently out of the country. It may or may not work. I had one client where the IRS said fine–and they took the son’s bank account out of the parent’s IRS levey. Another time, the IRS refused because the parent had actually used the son’s bank account for his own purposes.
    When your mother contacts the IRS, they will probably ask her to fax recent copies of the bank statement to them. She’ll want to show that all the transactions in the account are for you and not for her.
    If the IRS already has the levy in place, only the IRS can remove the levy. So definitely have her contact them first before you have her removed from the bank account. She should make sure that she has the name and fax number of the representative at the bank so that she may give that to the IRS–it will speed the process of them taking the levy off. (If they decide to be helpful.)

  151. Jan Roberg on Sun, 14th Jul 2013 3:40 pm
  152. Hi Martha,
    Your daughter’s account was levied by her landlord, not the IRS. I’m afraid that I can’t help you. I think you need an attorney, I’m not a lawyer. Sorry.

  153. Jan Roberg on Sun, 14th Jul 2013 4:03 pm
  154. Hi Barb D,
    A couple of thoughts here: Your husband shouldn’t be able to direct deposit his check into your bank account if his name isn’t on it. I’m guessing it must be legal in your state.

    That said, if your husband’s name is not on your bank account, the IRS should not be able to levy your bank account for his back taxes.

    But there are other issues here. First, you will want to claim injured spouse whenever you file a tax return. The IRS will levy whatever should come back to your husband, but they should refund anything that should be yours. It could help you a bit.

    About the levy on his paycheck, that’s taken before the check actually goes to your bank account, so there’s not much you can do there.

    It’s possible that your husband could contact the IRS and make an installment agreement to pay back the money he owes, the could get the levy lifted. Although it may just make more sense to leave the levy in place and get that whole back tax mess finished up. You sort of have to look at the situations and do what’s best for you.

    I would recommend not putting your husband on your bank account until this mess is over with though. Once his name goes onto your bank account, the IRS could go in and grab your funds too.

  155. Ashley on Wed, 31st Jul 2013 12:27 am
  156. Hello,
    So my mom is a co signer on my bank account.. I’m only 16. Today I realized I am about $1,400 short. And thats ecause there is a levy on my account. I the only one that usesy account. And my name is on everything. Is there a way I can get my money back? I did nothing wrong for it to be gone. It’s money. By The way I hae direct deposit through my work to my account do that proves it’s mine… How do I go about this!

  157. Jan Roberg on Sat, 3rd Aug 2013 10:00 pm
  158. Hi Ashley,
    I’m sorry that happened to you. It looks like the money is already gone so it’s too late to put a stop on it. If the IRS hadn’t already taken the money, I’d think you’d have a good chance at stopping the levy–I did it before when the IRS did that to one of my client’s children. But once the money’s gone–it’s gone.
    The worst part is–you never even knew what was happening. Since you’re only 16, I don’t know if you can take your mother off of your bank account. If you’re allowed to have a bank account without your parent’s name on it, I’d take her off.
    I’m guessing that’s not an option for you.

    My best guess is that that money is gone. The IRS would not have levied if they didn’t believe they were owed the money. Now that they’ve got it, don’t expect them to give it back. You’ll have to get that money back from your mother.

    If all of your mother’s tax has been paid, there’s not risk for a future levy. But if she still owes, then you’ll want to find ways to protect yourself. You might not want direct deposit anymore. Keep a little money in the account so you can cash checks, but then you’ll want to cash your pay checks and maybe put the money on one of those reloadable check cards. Once you’re able to have a bank account without your mother on there, then you can have a bank account again.

    If I’m misunderstanding and the money is still in the bank–just levied (there’s 28 days between when the levy is issued and when they actually take the money), then you have a fighting chance of stopping the levy. You’ll have to make the call to the IRS with your mother present, and she’ll have to swear that she does not use that account. It’s not going to be easy, but if they haven’t taken the money yet it is possible to save it.

  159. Jessie on Sun, 11th Aug 2013 3:47 pm
  160. Hello, my wife and I received an IRS tax levy against my property and future assets. I have a severance check that I tried to cash directly from the bank issuing my paycheck. It was Saturday, the bank teller said there was an error code on their system and their home office was closed so they couldn’t verify anything and to come back Monday. I’m hoping I can still cash my check and the issue was merely the paycheck amount. I have not received any letters informing me of a bank levy and the letter isn’t clear about how any of my checking accounts are or can be affected. 1) Is this a sign that I can not cash my paycheck? 2) My tax person said the property levy should only affect my home and a letter we received from the IRS states I am on a “do not collect” status for a period of 1 year. Can she be wrong and that the property tax levy includes bank accounts as well?

    thank you

  161. Jan Roberg on Wed, 14th Aug 2013 8:32 am
  162. Hi Jessie,
    You should be okay. If the IRS has you on the “do not collect” status–they won’t levy your account. Now usually, a property lien is only on the sale of the property. But you said, “property tax levy” so if your county put a levy on you for property taxes–there may be an issue there. I’ve only dealt with property lien’s which would not affect your bank account.
    If you truly are having a problem with your bank because of a levy–you can go cash your check at a check cashing place. Yes, there’s a fee, but at least you’ll have some cash. Then contact the county tax authority that placed the levy and get things worked out.
    But if it’s just a property lien– (grammar is everything isn’t it?) if it’s a lien–your bank should be okay.

  163. Tiger waters on Mon, 19th Aug 2013 10:51 pm
  164. Hi Jan – it’s been about a year since my original notification from the irs that I owe back taxes for a large amount. The company they claim paid me this income I have never heard of. It is my belief my identity was stolen or there is some sort of error with the irs. I have called the irs numerous times and when I have talked to a agent I have followed there instructions and sent any paper work they requested. Today I walked into my bank to find my account levied. I have a small business at another bank that I am concerned about. Does the irs typically only levy one account at a time or does it levy all bank accounts at all banks within the same time period? I’m hiring a agency on my behalf but worried about my small business account and property.

  165. Jan Roberg on Sun, 25th Aug 2013 3:56 pm
  166. Hi Tiger,
    You’ve got a good question–does the IRS only levy one bank account at a time or will they levy everything? The answer is–it depends. It depends on if they know about the account and if the account is attached to what they think is owed. For example: I represented a person who had a checking account and his name and social security number was also attached to his kids’ bank accounts. Now the chldren had grown up and moved on, but the father’s name was still attached to the accounts from back when the kids were in high school–the IRS nailed the kids’ accounts.
    Your business, if the IRS has a record of it being tied to you–could be in danger also. Your best bet is to go to the bank and check on the account. It may be wise to move your money if they haven’t levied yet, just to be safe.

  167. Rick on Tue, 1st Oct 2013 1:14 pm
  168. Hello, I’m a 100% disabled for mental problems and more. I can’t drive nor work another job otherwise the VA will take my disability away . I also have no further reviews in the future. My wife also gets $400 for aid and attendance. My wife also receives $380.00 from her Ex as part of his retirement. after their divorce. We spoke a layer here in Tennesse and he mentioned the 100% disabled vets don’t pay any state, federal tax in this state..All my direct deposits go into my wife account. My name is on nothing so does. I didn’t have to pay anything for last 2 years.

  169. Jan Roberg on Tue, 1st Oct 2013 8:06 pm
  170. Hi Rick,
    I’m guessing that you have a balance due with the IRS? It sounds like you’re in a “currently uncollectable” status. You may be there forever. If I were you, I’d just keep an eye on the situation. Once a year, the IRS will send you a letter, you’ll call them and say, “disabled vet, low income” etc. and they should continue the status.

    They can’t garnish your VA payments and your VA payments aren’t taxable. The IRS can count your VA payments as money that is available to pay debt–but they also need to allow you enough money to buy food, clothing, etc.

    If your VA check is being deposited into your wife’s account, I’m thinking that your name must be on there somewhere, in which case, the IRS could levy that account if they were going to issue a levy. So if that is a concern for you, be aware that it is a possibility.

  171. veronica molina on Thu, 10th Oct 2013 1:24 pm
  172. Hello so I had a question so I am married thru civil court for about 6 yrs my husband owes irs mobey feom before he was w me and now he hasnt paid either so Im trying to sav money for a house and was wondering if tge irs take my money since im married to him but hes not on my bank account nor I have his last name

  173. Jan Roberg on Fri, 11th Oct 2013 8:07 pm
  174. Hi Veronica,
    It doesn’t matter if your names match or not–just so you know.

    Now, the fact that he is not on your bank account probably protects you, but I would go to the bank and talk to your banker just to make sure.

    The debt is his from before you were married–but if you were to file together and you had a refund–the IRS would take your refund even though it’s his debt. You would need to file an “injured spouse” return to protect yourself.

    Since you want to buy a house, I’m assuming that you would get the loan together–and his debt could keep you from qualifying for the loan. You’ve got your work cut out for you on this one.

    My guess is that it would be difficult for the IRS to levy your bank account for your husband’s debt given that he’s not on the account and you have not part of the debt yourself, but make the phone call to your bank just to be on the safe side.

  175. Rick on Sun, 27th Oct 2013 10:27 am
  176. Thanks for your reply regarding PTSD, SSDI & the possible of garnishment by the IRS. I have no taxable income, however I read somewhere that there is a limit for a single or jointly income over a certain amount that might set off the IRS. Thanks

  177. Courtney S on Sat, 7th Dec 2013 2:21 am
  178. Hi Jan,

    So my question is pertaning to state taxes. I received a letter earlier this year stating I owe for 2010. I did set up arrangements but I wasnt able to keep them. The state has stated I cant set up a new arrangement until I pay what I have missed in payments. That basically means I would be paying it off. I dont have the funds right now at all. I called today and was told they can force garnish at anytime. My question is Ive been using the Netspend Prepaid Visa cards for the past year, will they be able to put a levy on that account?

  179. Jan Roberg on Sun, 8th Dec 2013 2:49 pm
  180. Hi Courtney,
    I’m sorry the state is treating you so badly. Here’s a case where you’re trying to do the right thing and they’re threatening you instead. That stinks. (Sorry for the editorializing but seriously, It seems people miss payments because they don’t have the money.)

    Anyway, to the best of my knowledge, there has been no way to garnish a Netspend prepaid Visa Card. (At least not yet.)

    That said, if you’re having your paycheck deposited to your net spend card–your paycheck could still be garnished before it’s ever sent to you. The state can contact your employer and garnish your pay. That’s what you need to be concerned with. Sorry. Just wanted to make sure that I made that clear.

  181. Khar on Fri, 13th Dec 2013 7:52 pm
  182. Hi Jan!

    I received a notification from my bank that $1500 from my savings account is on hold. So I called my bank to ask the reason for the hold and they told me that its the New York state tax put a hold on it. And NYS tax left their number so I can call them. So I did and I asked what is that $1500 for, this lady told me that we owe taxes.
    I do remember we owed United treasury which is the federal tax, but didn’t assume that we will also owe the NYS tax. The tax we owe with federal has been paid because we received the notice and we called to make payment arrangement.
    Now, back to NYS tax. I told the lady that we haven’t received any notice about it. She mentioned that they sent out 4 notice which 2 was sent back to them and that means the other 2 was received. Which I told her, we have not received it. Because if we did, we would have paid or made arrangement just like the federal. I also mentioned to her about the federal that after we got the notice, we made the call and made payment arrangement. So I asked her what address she has on file. She told me the address but they don’t have the apartment number on file. So I told her, no wonder I am not receiving it. She still insist that 2 out of 4 notices they sent was not returned, assuming that it was received. The apartment that I live for the past 2 years has around 120 apartments. If they don’t have the apartment number, of course it will be lost.
    I asked her what else she can do, since they didn’t have my apt number that is why I am not receiving notices. She said she cannot do anything cause even if they sent it to the wrong address, that there is a notice on the federal (first notice that we owe taxes) to also check NYS tax if we owe money.
    Now I am looking through my papers and couldn’t find the first federal notice. But I don’t recall on federal to also check NYS tax.
    This is just frustrating. She told me after the attempted 4 notices since April 2013, that a warrant was issued and levies my bank account of the amount owed. Isn’t there a time frame on how long they should try and get a hold of me before they do a warrant. It’s just upsetting that I have confirmed that they didn’t even have my apartment number. And I have mentioned that federal was successful on sending me the notices with my correct address and how come NYS tax has an inaccurate address or incomplete address.
    This concerns me since she even mentioned that it will be in public records on my credit report. Will this affect my credit?
    Can I do something about it? It is not my fault that they don’t have my apartment number when they should have it all correct since they have my information when we filed taxes for last year.
    Oh and I asked her to send me the original notice with my correct address. I gave her my apt number which she updated my address on file just yesterday.

    It’s just so confusing since we started paying federal owe tax around september 2012, filed tax april 2013 this year, when we received our federal return, federal deducted the remaining balance on what we owe as to make it payment in full, which was around july 2013.
    NYS tax is telling me that they sent first notice march 2013 that we owe taxes.
    Shouldn’t they have sent it sooner since federal did theirs sept.2012. Also, we even received our NYS tax return around June 2013 without any deductions. They didn’t even deduct it.
    I know I have lots of questions, but hope you can answer all of the. I would very much appreciate it.

  183. Jan Roberg on Sun, 15th Dec 2013 7:04 am
  184. Hi Khar,

    You have a lot of questions so I’m going to reprint part of your comment with your questions to keep them in order.

    This concerns me since she even mentioned that it will be in public records on my credit report. Will this affect my credit?

    Yes, tax debts can affect your credit report.

    Can I do something about it?

    Get your payment arrangement set up. You’ll need to contact New York to find out if they have a lien on you or not. The IRS generally will remove liens if you make a “direct debit” arrangement. I don’t know about New York’s rules. It sounds a little strange, but it’s possible that they’ve got the levy without placing a lien. (Yes that seems backward but the feds do it, I don’t know about New York.)

    It is not my fault that they don’t have my apartment number when they should have it all correct since they have my information when we filed taxes for last year.

    You might want to double check that. Sometimes the software has a box for the apartment number but people put it on the address line and the apartment number gets cut off.

    Oh and I asked her to send me the original notice with my correct address. I gave her my apt number which she updated my address on file just yesterday.

    It’s just so confusing since we started paying federal owe tax around september 2012, filed tax april 2013 this year, when we received our federal return, federal deducted the remaining balance on what we owe as to make it payment in full, which was around july 2013.
    NYS tax is telling me that they sent first notice march 2013 that we owe taxes.
    Shouldn’t they have sent it sooner since federal did theirs sept.2012.

    The states basically rely on the federal for their information. New York would be behind because they would have waited for the federal to show what the status was.

    Also, we even received our NYS tax return around June 2013 without any deductions. They didn’t even deduct it.

    I’m guessing you received your refund because NY hadn’t discovered that you still owed yet.

    I know I have lots of questions, but hope you can answer all of the. I would very much appreciate it.

    Jan’s questions: The problem with trying to answer questions online in a spot like this is that clearly I don’t know the whole story. Did you file taxes in 2012 and owe and just not pay? Or did you file taxes in 2012 and you later got a notice saying that you missed something and needed to pay?

    I’m guessing that you got an IRS CP2000 letter–the one that says you missed something on your return and now you owe more. (Because when you found out that you owed–you made arrangements to pay so that seems the logical answer here.)

    So did you get some professional help when you got that IRS letter? The reason I’m asking is because often people don’t owe as much as the IRS says they owe. And if you had a professional help you, she would have known that once you get that IRS letter, you need to amend your state return also.

    You’re stuck with the levy, even if you don’t really owe the money, you still have to refile and it will take some time to straighten things out. But I want you to have someone take a look at your taxes. If they find that you shouldn’t owe as much as the IRS said you can still file an amendment with both the IRS and with New York. It’s worth the money for you to check this out.

  185. Richard from Tennesse on Tue, 4th Feb 2014 4:23 pm
  186. Hi Jan, going back to my questions on Oct 1st 2013. I wanted to clear things up for myself to fully understand my tax situations for 2013. The IRS has not threatened to levy my bank account, yes, it’s true all my 100% disabilities I receive from the VA and SSDI are deposited into my wives banking account. I might note that was granted 100% from the VA. I cannot work otherwise my wife % I will loose our monthly compensation and we will be on the street.

    I might mention that previously we lived in Detroit when the auto indusary began to fold up. We and almost everyone thought our jobs were finished. I waited it out on unemployment until I received my termination papers (26 years). During that period, I didn’t pay any taxes.

    Not long after that Obama offered a plan for those that couldn’t afford their mortgage payment, The government would work out a plan to keep your house but I had to pay $400.00 more per month. There was no we could afford all of this was offering a plan to save everyone from loosing their house. We packed up our belongings, cleaned the place up like new and wrote the builder explaining why we had to leave with the key inside.

    We had moved to Florida and leased a house for one year. We both worked for just low wages. During that year in Florida we received many phone calls & letters regarding the forclosed house in Detroit.. We ignored them and after a year moved to a house we bought under a land contract. We have managed to put all our money under my wives banking account. Before we made these transactions, we got the advise of bank managers, lawyers and they all agreed because my wife’s name was not on the puchase ( agreement) and I wasn’t married to her at that time.
    The lawyer said to keep a low amount of money in my account like $500.00. All my possisions are in my wife’s name.

    Advise?

  187. Jan Roberg on Tue, 4th Feb 2014 5:34 pm
  188. Hi Rick,
    You’re still not getting threatening notices from the IRS, I’m thinking you’re okay. You might want to check in with them once a year, keep yourself on their “currently uncollectible” status, but that’s about it.

  189. Tom on Thu, 19th Jun 2014 11:11 am
  190. I’m not sure if you deal with company tax issues? We owe the irs $50,000 and they sent a letter to one of our customers to pay the irs on our behalf instead of paying us. That company paid $12000 to the irs. Now the irs called them and said to not pay us until he okays it because the debt is not paid off yet. Can they just call and tell my customer that? i would think they need to send a letter for every request.

  191. Daniel on Thu, 19th Jun 2014 11:39 am
  192. I just received a settlement check from my divorce and I have a tax lien. If I call the FTB and make arrangements to pay them monthly and inform them of my check will they still take it when I deposit it? It’s the only income I have left and I am afraid they will take it all. What is your advice on what I should do

  193. Jan Roberg on Sun, 22nd Jun 2014 7:57 am
  194. Hi Daniel,
    A couple of thoughts here. First–terminology. The words can be confusing.

    If the IRS has a lien on you–that means if you get a refund on your taxes they can take it. If you sell your house, they can take the tax debt before you get the rest of the money. That’s a lien.

    A levy is then they tell your bank “We’re owed this much money by Daniel and we’re sucking it out of his bank account.” (Okay, they don’t say that exactly, but that’s what they mean.

    If your paycheck is being garnished, that’s a kind of a levy also.

    So–if there is a lien–you’re fine to deposit your check. The IRS isn’t going to touch that.

    If they have already levied your account–then the money that was in the bank at the time they put the levy on will be taken, but additional funds will not be taken, so you may deposit your check.

    But if–AND THIS PART IS IMPORTANT–if the IRS sent you a letter threatening to levy your account–then your settlement check could be in jeopardy. That’s why knowing exactly which words they used are important.

    Now–if the IRS is threatening to levy–you can talk to them, work out some sort of payment arrangement and they will call the dogs off. That’s probably your best option.

    If you really can’t pay them and can’t be put on their “currently uncollectable” status, then I would cash the check and put all the money onto a prepaid debit card. (I know, that sounds a little slimey, but if you’re desperate you do what you gotta do for now.)

    But if it’s at all possible to work something out with the IRS, that really is your best bet in the long run. Good luck.

  195. Jan Roberg on Sun, 22nd Jun 2014 8:22 am
  196. Hi Tom (post 95, sorry I’m out of order),
    Um yes. Yes the IRS can. Ouch! It’s on page 6 of this publication: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p594.pdf

    Basically it says that they can levy your income and they only have to notify you once, and they don’t have to notify you again. They can just do it.

    Why does the IRS do this? To get your attention. (Worked didn’t it?)

    You owe them $50,000. You didn’t call, you didn’t write. They confiscated your money. You still didn’t call, you didn’t write so they’re going to do it again.

    Think of the IRS as a really bad ex-girlfriend. You know, the Carrie Underwood song “Before He Cheats”? That’s how the IRS sees you.

    I’m guessing that your $50,000 is payroll tax withholding? If so, that’s even worse. They are pretty intense over payroll tax withholding.

    So what should you do? Call them! Make nice. Find a way to get the debt taken care of. Many years ago (long before I went into the tax business) I went to work one day to find that the doors to the company I worked for were padlocked shut. My boss hadn’t paid our payroll withholding and the IRS shut us down.

    Call them (or get representation to call them for you) but don’t ignore this.

    Oh, if you don’t know the song I was referring to, here’s a link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aBuLhwXPJls&noredirect=1

  197. terry on Mon, 23rd Jun 2014 10:33 am
  198. Hello, thank you for your website! It has been very informative.

    I currently owe the irs from 2009 return (1800) and they sent me a letter stating to pay in full in 10 days or they would pursue options against me. I currently have no bank accounts in my name. Everything is in my wife name, my job direct deposits directly into her account. The house is in her name as well. The only thing in my name is a truck of which i owe like 16k on still. (they can have it lol)

    can they touch my wife bank acct if my direct deposit goes to it, although my name isn’t on account?

    2nd issue
    This years fax return i owed 7k, hopefully this will be included in the 1800 wage garnishment. We have 1k of the 1800 already, and we are hoping to save up one more month to gather the 800 to pay 2009 return in full.

  199. Naeteeri W on Tue, 24th Jun 2014 2:48 pm
  200. My CPA is trying to negotiate an OIC for about $90,000 in back taxes.

    My sister passed away recently and it looks like I might be in line to inherit her estate valued at $240,000. She died without a will in California which means it will take about 9 months for probate to sort out.

    If the OIC is settled, should I be worried about getting the inheritance and the IRS trying to take it? If the OIC is still pending when probate is finished, can I sign over any inheritance I may be entitled to to my son without the IRS taking it?

    Thanks in advance for your guidance.

  201. sheila on Wed, 2nd Jul 2014 9:03 pm
  202. I owe fed. taxes for 2010, 2011, 2012. The IRS says they did not receive tax forms
    for 2009, I’m not sure what happened it was the only year they owed me $200.
    My bank account was levied only a small amount of money was taken because I was running late to make my deposit. The IRS will not allow me to make payment arrangements until they receive the 2009 forms. If I just start sending payments on each year that I owe will that hold off further action? I owe about $11,000 total and can probably have it paid in full in about 12 weeks. The IRS is sending me info. to get 2009 filed again. We had a fire in 2011 and I think my copies were lost then because I have been unable to locate them.
    Thanks for any suggestions

  203. Jan Roberg on Sat, 5th Jul 2014 7:49 am
  204. Hi Sheila,
    Bottom line, you need to get that 2009 filed right away.

    Now, usually the IRS is very happy to accept “voluntary payments” but that doesn’t mean they can’t still go in and levy.

    When you talked to them, did that give you a date to get that filed? Usually, I’ll call and they’ll say “we won’t do any further actions until such and such a date.” Did they do that for you? If not, call them back and get a firm deadline.

    Then, make sure you get those taxes done and turned in before the deadline. Don’t just mail them in, get the IRS on the phone and say, “I’ve got these taxes, I’m going to fax them to you, not let’s get our payment arrangement done.

    Since you’re going to have a refund (which you won’t get because it’s a 2009 return) they won’t be adding any additional tax to the balance due so they can process your payment arrangement.

    Now since you’ve had balance dues for three years in a row, you should either start making estimated tax payments or withholding more (depending upon your circumstances.) It’s okay if you have a small balance due on April 15th that you can pay off immediately, but you don’t want to have any huge balances again which require payment agreements. It’s time to pull yourself off their radar.

    If you haven’t received those 2009 documents yet, you might be able to get them yourself online. Here’s the link: http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Get-Transcript

    What you’re looking for is the “wage and income transcript”. I say “may” because in order to register you have to answer a bunch of questions about yourself and you might not know the answers. Example: you have a bank account at XYZ bank, what year did you open the account? The questions are tough to prevent identity theft, but they are tough.

  205. Jan Roberg on Sun, 6th Jul 2014 7:56 am
  206. Hi Naeteeri,
    I’m sorry for the loss of your sister. It must be so difficult for you to try to deal with all this and her death at the same time.

    One of the questions on the Offer In Compromise forms is: Are you the beneficiary of an estate? So the answer is yes. So if your CPA hasn’t turned in the paperwork yet, then you’ll need to answer truthfully. And standing to inherit $240,000 would basically make you lose the offer.

    That said, if the IRS already has the paperwork, then the issue would be where do they stand with it? I know that I worked on one offer and quite frankly,I think the IRS took so long to handle it because they figured my client was going to come into money and they wanted to see what would happen. (He didn’t and we closed he deal, but it took much longer than any other offer I ever worked on.)

    So, if you haven’t filed you–you’ll need to mention the will. If you’ve already filed, then it depends upon if the IRS is going to ask you for more information or not. You have to tell the truth.

    On the plus side, with $240,000 you can afford to pay off the $90,000 IRS debt. I know I’m not sounding helpful, but the Offer in Compromise is for people who cannot afford to pay, not for people who just don’t feel like paying. With $240,000–you’ve got enough money to pay your debt.

    About transferring the money to your son. That would be a reportable “gift” and you’d need to file a gift tax return (no tax on it, just a reporting requirement.) To which the IRS would then see that you had $240,000 to give away when you should have been paying them.

    You might need to sit down with your CPA to rethink your strategy.

  207. Jan Roberg on Sun, 6th Jul 2014 8:32 am
  208. Hi Terry,
    When you get a letter from the IRS saying you have 10 days to do something before they levy your bank account, the best thing to do is call the IRS. They want to hear from you. They want to know how you’re going to pay them.

    Now, if your name is not on your wife’s bank account, they shouldn’t be able to grab it–but make sure it’s not on there. I’ve seen the IRS grab adult children’s bank accounts because their parent’s names were on there but it was forgotten. I’m concerned that your paycheck is being direct deposited to an account that doesn’t have your name on it. But in some states that is legal.

    You say you have $1000 of the 1800 save up already. You could set up a payment agreement for about $125 a month which would include your $7000 of current debt. That would get the IRS off your back and you’ve got money in the bank to start paying.

    Also, I’d make sure you were withholding more or making estimated tax payments so you don’t fall behind for 2014.

  209. jt on Tue, 8th Jul 2014 7:34 pm
  210. wow jan, thank you for so much info. going strong for a couple years now!

    I did hope you could provide some insight on my situation.

    I have old tax debt from 2003, 2004. I got up to compliance in 2007 by filing my old returns and was set for non-collectible status at that time.

    I noticed through an online transcript that I’m set to be on collectible status this month (I hope this is triggered because they had no return in 2012 but maybe its my 2014 income that caused it).

    I will try filling out the form to be set to non-collectible again but if that’s not an option what might I expect right away?

    I was levied once before, probably in 2007 on a checking account. Can they levy again anytime without notice now (on accounts that didn’t even exist in 2007).

    Since they may have to forfeit their balance soon will they be terribly aggressive (ie levy wages?)

    I did a little research on wage levies in Illinois and it seems that they would get a terribly small amount from me, barely $2000 of the $25,000 debt over 3 years (they should expire from statute of limitations then). Would an offer in compromise even be worth looking into? If they look at it under those terms, I would pay them at amount right now.

    I’m afraid they are going to try to pressure me into making large monthly payments and extending or suspending the statute of limitations so I could just pay off forever.

    I do feel ashamed and embarrassed about using the law to my advantage and trying to just let it dissolve but this debt has been a constant shadow and I can’t wait for it to be over.

    thanks for your time.
    jt

  211. Jan Roberg on Sun, 13th Jul 2014 8:04 am
  212. Hi JT,
    First, if you’re on non-collectible status with a statute of limitations coming up–you never want to stir up the hornets nest by not having your taxes filed.

    Okay, that’s said. So, they’re on to you and you’ve got to start over. First, you be the one to contact the IRS, not the other way around. Don’t wait for them, you know you’re on the list.

    First, call them and see if you can get back on currently uncollectable. My guess is the answer is no, because you say you’ve got income now.

    If you are anywhere near the statute of limitations, they are going to try to pressure you into huge monthly installments. You get around that by filling out a 433A form showing them your current income and expense situation and that’s how you reduce the payment.

    If you try to make an offer in compromise, it will extend the statute of limitations–so, if your balance due is set to expire in December of 2017 right now, then the IRS will extend the collection date for the debt for as long as your case in in the OIC office (which can take a whole year.)

    Another thing about an OIC. Let’s say you file it, it gets accepted, and you pay. Then two years later you forget to file your taxes. Boom! All of the debt you owed comes rolling back in plus penalties and interest.

    OIC is not always a good option for someone with a history of not filing returns. Just saying.

    The fact that you have a new bank account doesn’t affect the IRS’s right to levy. They only have to issue the notice once and the right to seize is open. And, remember, they know everything when it comes to things like bank accounts. You will call, they will ask about your bank account, but they already know. It’s shocking what they know.

    I would like to say they would issue you a new levy notice, but I can’t guarantee it. I would think they would, I mean it’s been seven years, but better to be safe than sorry. Call them right away and get things squared. Go for the lowest possible payment that you can get and let the statute of limitations get you through this.

    When you set up your installment agreement, use the direct debit option and never be late on a payment because the closer you get to the CSED date, the more antsy they’ll get and the enforcement actions will be stiffer.

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