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IRS Tax Levies and Liens

An IRS tax levy or lien can be one of the hardest financial hits to manage, knocking the wind out of you and leaving you feeling helpless.  Some individuals and businesses never recover from an IRS levy or lien, and how you handle this situation can significantly impact your financial future or the future of your business.

The IRS Help Attorneys at The Law Office of Beverly Winstead, LLC have dedicated their professional tax practices to solving precisely the kinds of problems that IRS tax levies and liens create. Founding and managing attorney Beverly Winstead has devoted her career in government and public service, and private practice and recruited her skilled and passionate tax-resolution team to help individuals and businesses in your situation prosper.

What Is a Levy? In short, a levy deprives you, the taxpayer, of your asset that the tax agency has seized. This could be a residence, commercial premises, vehicle, critical equipment, savings, checking, brokerage accounts, accounts receivable, or other real or personal, tangible or intangible property. The tax agency will liquidate or sell this asset to apply the money gained to your tax obligation. Though you may, in theory, purchase the asset yourself at the sale or recover excess proceeds of the sale, it is rare for a levy process to end favorably for the individual whose assets have been seized. Without experienced legal help, a levy is more often the end of your possession of that asset.

What Is a Lien? While a levy seizes an asset to sell to pay the tax debt, an IRS lien freezes the asset, securing the asset’s net value to pay down the tax debt in the event of its future transfer or sale. A lien may be a prelude to a forced sale if the IRS forecloses the lien and, in that respect, can be like a levy. But often, the IRS simply records or otherwise places the lien without forcing the asset’s sale. A lien enables the IRS to sit back and wait for you to sell, mortgage, or otherwise draw on the asset’s value; then, you must deal with the IRS lien.

Lien Consequences. Because the IRS files a public Notice of Federal Tax Lien, buyers, banks, and others often want nothing to do with the assets in question. A lien typically prevents not only a sale but borrowing against the asset, including renewing or extending a business line of credit the asset formerly secured. A lien may also trigger default in mortgage-loan terms. Thus, a lien is not the end of your ownership and control of the asset, but could spell the beginning of the end.

Lien and Levy Relief. Paying the full amount of the tax debt will typically remove an IRS lien or cause the IRS to release the seized property if you act promptly enough. But, if you were able to promptly pay the amount owed, you probably wouldn’t have had a lien or levy put on your property in the first place. It is possible to have the lien or levy released without paying the full tax debt, but it is highly unlikely without having experienced tax representation.

You may be able to qualify for a lien to be discharged, or you may qualify for a lien’s subordination after following specific procedures and providing certain documentation. You may also qualify for IRS withdrawal of the lien, sometimes under the IRS’s new Fresh Start program, but again under strict procedures.

The IRS Help Attorneys at The Law Office of Beverly Winstead, LLC make it their practice to help clients like you gain prompt relief from otherwise-crippling IRS levies and liens. You will very likely need their help. Call The Law Office of Beverly Winstead, LLC today at (301) 306-1234 or contact the firm online for a consultation to see if you may qualify for relief from an IRS levy or lien. Your financial future may depend on it.


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