Bank Levy: How the IRS Busts Your Bank!

Bank Levy Questions and Answers

irs bank levy help
Large IRS tax debts are daunting and often trigger the "fight or flight" response in those who owe. Some people get a big tax bill and immediately jump into action. Other people just try to hide from their tax problems and hope that it goes away. No matter how fast you run from your tax problems, they will catch up to you. Often, this leads to a bank levy.

What Is a Bank Levy?

A bank levy is a seizure of liquid assets in a financial account. This means that the IRS takes as much as they can out of your accounts to apply toward your tax debt. Many people feel that their joint accounts will not be touched, since it does not exclusively belong to them. This does not matter. If your name is on an account and you can touch it, the IRS can levy it. The following list is a sampling of accounts that are subject to a bank levy.

  • Checking and Savings Accounts
  • Mortgage Escrow Accounts
  • School's Bank Accounts
  • CD Accounts
  • 401K and IRA Accounts

How Does a Bank Levy Happen?

The IRS only attempts to do a bank levy after three requirements are met.

  1. A tax debt was assessed and a "Notice and Demand for Payment" was mailed to you.
  2. You did not pay your debt in full or enter into an agreement with the IRS to pay the debt.
  3. A "Final Notice of Intent to Levy" was sent and the debt was unpaid 30 days later.

If you experience a bank levy and did not receive any letters from the IRS, it is very likely that they have an outdated address on file for you and have been sending letters to it. Your bank will freeze your funds from the day they were served the bank levy notice. They must hold it for 21 days before sending it as a payment to the IRS. If the amount in your account is less than what you owe, they must also send any interest that accrued on it to the IRS.

How Do You Stop a Bank Levy?

You have three ways to stop a bank levy. You can pay the entire amount you owe, enter into or file for one of the many legal agreements there are with the IRS, or prove that this will cause you great financial hardship. Paying off your tax debt will immediately resolve all of your tax problems, but may seem out of reach. Proving financial hardship only grants you temporary relief. Making an official agreement with the IRS is often the best course to stopping a bank levy. However, preventing a bank levy is much easier than stopping a bank levy.

How Do You Prevent a Bank Levy?

Many people scared of a bank levy will take all of their money out of bank accounts and live on a cash-only basis. It is incredibly difficult to live this way. Most bills can only be paid by check or credit card. Cash doesn't grow with interest and is easily lost. The IRS can still come after your wages and property. Are you willing to give those up too? Living under the radar is not the best option. It is better to either pay off your debt in full or enter into an agreement with the IRS.

If your tax problems are serious enough that a bank levy is threatened, you need to consult a professional. Call now or fill out the form below for a free tax debt consultation to help with your bank levy problems! We'll only connect you with a tax debt relief company holding at least a B rating with the Better Business Bureau.

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