FAQs – IRS Levies

What is an IRS levy?

The term “levy” refers to the IRS’s power to take or seize your property.  The levy usually consists of a notice to a third party to turn over your property.  The IRS bank levy is an example.  The IRS wage levy is another example.  It can also include the IRS physically taking your property. 

Does the IRS have to get a court order to levy property?

Generally, no.  The IRS does not have to get a court order to levy or take your property.  Our tax laws allow the IRS to take your property without a court order.  

What if my bank or employer does not comply with an IRS levy?

Our tax laws impose liability on third parties who fail to comply with the IRS levy.  This can include making the third party liable for the value of the property that is not turned over plus a 50% penalty.  

What property does the IRS levy apply to?

The IRS levy applies to property held by the third party on the date the levy is received.  For example, if your bank receives an IRS levy, the bank is required to turn over the amount in your bank account as of that date.  

Can the IRS levy on my Social Security payments?

The IRS levy applies to property held by the third party on the date the levy is received.  For example, if your bank receives an IRS levy, the bank is required to turn over the amount in your bank account as of that date.  

What property does the IRS levy apply to?

The IRS levy applies to property held by the third party on the date the levy is received.  For example, if your bank receives an IRS levy, the bank is required to turn over the amount in your bank account as of that date.  

Can the IRS levy on my Social Security payments?

Generally, yes, the IRS can levy on Social Security payments. 

Can the IRS levy on my retirement account? 

Generally, yes, the IRS can levy on retirement accounts.  There are administrative rules that apply, however. 

Does the Texas homestead rule prevent the IRS from taking my house?

No, the IRS’s collection powers are not limited by the Texas homestead exemption rules.

Is there some minimum amount of income or assets that are exempt from the IRS levy?

Yes, our tax laws provide certain exemptions.  These exemptions are very minimal, but they can help ensure that you have some assets and income.  

Does the IRS have to give me notice before issuing a levy?

Generally, yes.  The IRS has to provide you with notice before it issues a levy.  This notice allows you to file an appeal in most cases.