A levy is different from a lien. When the IRS levies your property, it means they have taken it. The IRS can levy any property that you own, including wages and social security benefits.
Levies must be released when:
- Your debt becomes too old to collect.
- The levy creates an economic hardship.
- A levy can be put on part of your property because the value of your property is more than the debt.
- Releasing the levy will help the IRS collect the debt.
The IRS can’t take any of your property to pay your taxes if you have an installment agreement and you are making your monthly payments. If the IRS decides not to accept your installment agreement, they can’t take your property for 30 days after they tell you their decision not to accept it or during the time that you are appealing an IRS decision.
How to Appeal an IRS Levy
There are 3 ways to appeal a levy:
- You can ask an IRS manager to review your situation.
- You can request a Collection Due Process hearing with the Office of Appeals. You must request this hearing by the date on your levy notice. If your appeal of the levy is unsuccessful, you will have 30 days to object to that decision.
- You can also try to work with the IRS so that your debt is paid off some other way, or so your account is placed in hardship status.
How to Get Help
If a levy is causing you a hardship, call the IRS and tell them that. You may have to answer questions about your income, property, and living expenses. If you have a hardship and the IRS doesn’t release the levy, call the Vermont Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic at 1-800-889-2047. You can also call the IRS Taxpayer Advocate Service at 1-877-777-4778.