If You Don’t Pay on Time: Understanding Collection Actions


understanding Irs collection actions

There are several words and phrases particular to the collection process.  Here, we’ve defined some of the most commonly used collection terms:

  • Federal tax lien:  A legal claim against all your current and future property, such as a house or car, and rights to property, such as wages and bank accounts.  The lien automatically comes into existence if you don’t pay your amount due after receiving your first bill.
  • Notice of Federal Tax Lien (NFTL): A public notice to creditors.  It notifies them that there is a federal tax lien that the attached to your current and future property and rights to property.
  • Levy: A legal seizure of property or rights to property to satisfy a tax debt.  When property is seized (levied), it will be sold to help pay your tax debt.  If wages or bank accounts are seized, the money will be applied to your tax debt.
  • Seizure: There is no legal difference between a seizure and a levy.  Both terms are used interchangeably.
  • Notice of Intent to Levy and Notice of Your Right to a Hearing: Generally, before property is seized, the IRS has to send you this notice.  If you don’t pay your overdue taxes, make other arrangements to satisfy the tax debt, or request hearing within 30 days of the date of this notice, we may seize your property.
  • Summons:  A summons legally compels you or a third party to meet with the IRS and provide information, documents, or testimony.

For help with IRS, tax audits, tax problems, back taxes, tax settlements, tax debt, Offer in Compromise, tax help, IRS debt, a tax lien, a state tax levy, an IRS levy, an IRS tax lien, contact us.  If you need IRS help and have unresolved cases with previous tax lawyers and tax attorneys, we can help find an optimal resolution for your indigenous needs.  Contact us at 201-947-8081 or 646-688-2807, or email us at info@irstaxproblems.com.


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