Tax Debt Myths: Real Ways to Stop an IRS Tax Levy, and Myths to Avoid

Have a Happy Thanksgiving Weekend everyone! I'll be out of the office until Monday, but please continue to send your IRS questions or concerns my way. I'll be glad to help you.

Getting This Far: You were warned. The IRS sent you notice after notice, which were promptly ignored. Now you got the last notice from the IRS. And it said “Final Notice and Intent to Levy.” It's certified mail, and it looks serious. And it is. The IRS can levy your bank account or garnish your paycheck if you don't act now. So read carefully, and be sure to avoid some common misconceptions.

Myth #1:  To keep the IRS from levying your assets, just transfer the ownership!

Not so fast. If you already received that Final Notice, the IRS is keeping a close eye on you and your assets. If you transfer your assets to a friend, coworker, family members, or anyone determined to be close to you, the transfer will be deemed “fraudulent.” This can result in a civil lawsuit.

Myth #2:  You can lie to the IRS about your assets, they will never find out.
The IRS can and will find out. You have the right not to answer the IRS's questions. But it's a violation of Federal law to lie to them about your assets. This can result in criminal charges. Don't forget, the IRS can search public records to find out what you really own. And if that doesn't work, they can send a Revenue Officer to your door and ask about your assets face to face.

Myth #3:  Hide your Assets, this is completely legal!
No, it's not. Actively hiding your assets from an IRS collector is illegal. Your assets are not even safe in safety deposit boxes. When I was an IRS Hitman, I was easily able to use the computer to locate those.

Myth #4:  File For Bankruptcy, The IRS cannot seize your property if you do.
Not usually. Bankruptcy will not help you escape your Tax Levy, especially if you have assets and can pay your debt. Tax liens and levies usually survive bankruptcy. And if you have any assets/money that could be used to satisfy your debt, they will be seized and used to satisfy your debt. Plus, filing for Bankruptcy extends the statute of limitations on your IRS Debt.

The Real Deal: There's only one way to stop an IRS Levy. And that's contacting the IRS and discussing how you're going to pay your bill. You can submit an Offer in Compromise, propose an installment agreement, or request a hardship plan. None of this will be easy, but they are the only real options for stopping a levy. Act fast, and don't let the IRS seize your assets.