• Jim Payne

How IRS Levies Work

I represent taxpayers in Gainesville and the state of Florida who have tax issues with the IRS.

The IRS Tax Levy is the method used to actually seize a taxpayer’s assets in order to collect on a tax debt. These levies happen when the taxpayer ignores the IRS about the debt, or there is a breakdown in the negotiations between the two parties. The Levy is the IRS’s hammer and they know how to use it.


The process is straight forward and happens after the IRS has sent various notices trying to collect on the debt. The process itself is as follows:

  1. The IRS issues a Notice of Intent to Levy – you have 30 days to respond and either request a Collection Due Process hearing or negotiate some other deal such as a Payment Plan.

  2. The IRS will next issues a Notice of Levy to any third party who is holding the taxpayer’s assets such as banks, IRA trustees, employers and customers in the case of contractors.

  3. Banks will hold the money in your account at the time of levy for 21 days before sending it to the IRS. This means that it still might be possible to work out a deal and get the levy released before the money is sent to the IRS.

  4. Employers will receive a “Continuing Levy” for wages and commissions which stays in place until it is released by the IRS. This type of levy is designed to hurt and drive the taxpayer back to the bargaining table.

What should you do if you have a received a Notice of Intent to Levy? The time for inaction is over. You need to contact the IRS and make some sort of arrangement with the IRS or request the Collection Due Process hearing. Hiring an attorney, CPA, or enrolled agent who specialize in these procedures is probably your best plan of action.


If you or someone you know has received a Notice of Intent to Levy or some other federal or state tax issue, please feel free to contact me at either (352) 317-5692 or email jim@backoffice2.net.

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