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How to Stop IRS Levies

Jul 17, 2008
Most tax payers need not worry about such an eventuality if they have filled up their returns correctly provided the required details and avoided claiming excess tax relief. However, sometimes a return may be picked up for examination and at the end of the audit; the tax payer may find himself staring at a large demand.

However, no demand is raised without informing the tax payer about the proposed changes. The tax payer has a right to be heard by appeal office and this is a good opportunity to correct the problem if the demand is unjustified. Of course, tax demand may arise even without audit due to short payment of estimated tax or insufficient withholding.

If the appeal is lost, there is further appeal to tax courts. However, it is advisable to pay up the demand in the meantime. The tax payers can petition to get the demand put in the currently not collectible status, if they have some special hardship.

Those persons who cannot make full payment immediately should go for an installment agreement. The important thing is to be in continuous dialogue with the IRS for payment of tax. The levy action is normally taken when this communication breaks down.

Another option for the tax payer is to try to bring his case under the offer in compromise scheme. This can lead to substantial reduction of tax demand. This is not only an excellent opportunity to correct any illegal or irregular demand, but to enter into an agreement with the IRS for paying what the tax payer can really afford to pay.

There is an appeal against the rejection of the offer which must also be utilized. No levy action can be taken against the tax payer until the appeal against rejection of installment agreement or offer in compromise is decided.

The tax payers also need to know that no levy action can be taken all of a sudden. The IRS is obliged to serve a notice of final intent to levy on the tax payer and give at least thirty days time to him.

During this period the tax payer has a right to seek a collection due process hearing. This is also an appeal hearing and the tax payer can use this opportunity to explain his position and also to get tax relief from impending levy. No levy action can be taken till such time the appeal office gives its decision. Publication 1660 of the IRS Collection Appeal Rights has details on this subject.

The publication can be seen on the IRS's website. Some tax payers lose all these opportunities for taking corrective steps because they have shifted and have not informed the changed address to the IRS who is only obliged to serve notices at the last known address. It is important to keep the IRS informed about present whereabouts to avoid unpleasant surprises.
About the Author
Neil Lemons represents Allied Tax Solutions, a 30 year IRS tax representation firm with ex-IRS agents that help you get your life back. To learn more on How To Stop IRS Levies check out, check out http://www.alliedtaxsolutions.com.
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