Liens and levies

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Updated: 3/27/2003 1:09 pm
If you don't take action to pay federal income taxes that you owe, the Internal Revenue Service, or IRS (I-R-S), has several methods to recover them. For example, the IRS may file a Notice of Federal Tax Lien against your property and/or your rights to property. A lien grants the IRS the right to your property and remains intact until payment has been made in full. This property may include houses and cars for individuals and accounts receivable for businesses. Upon filing a lien, the government alerts your creditors that it has a claim against your property, even if you acquired the property after the lien was filed. You're generally given a 30-day notice before the lien is filed, allowing you the opportunity to protest. If you don't agree with the placement of the lien, you have a limited amount of time to file a protest with the revenue office that originally filed it. Another method the IRS may use to recover taxes from you is a levy, a legal grant for the IRS to take and sell your property. Not only does this include property you own directly, like a car, house, or boat, but also any monies that are yours being held by someone else. This also includes any future IRS refund checks. You have the right to be informed in advance of any taxes you owe as well as to be notified before any liens or levies are imposed upon you.

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