IRS Lien and Levy: What You Need to Know

Last night @kemosabe and I talked about IRS lien and levy actions on a twitter blab. If you missed it, click here to watch.

And if you have questions about IRS liens and levies, please ask in the comments. I don’t publish the comments so they won’t show up on the site, but I will reply (so use a real email address).




Lysander Venible is the author of "On Your Own in Tax Court," a book about how to save your shirt in U.S. tax court. He has been engaged with the Service for over 10 years both administratively and in tax court.

If you have questions, topics or a situation you'd like to discuss, comment below or click the "About/Contact" tab above.

Lysander is not an attorney and it is not his intent to offer legal advice.

IRS Lien and Levy: What You Need to Know

  • My wife is a retired school teacher. I am on social security.
    state FTB in California is garnishing us. They ignore all we have submitted to them showing we do not owe the tax they think we do.
    Any suggestions on how to stop a state garnishment? We have no lawful obligation to them and have provided to them code, regs, constitution, on and on. I do not think they read what we submit to them. It is easier to use form letters and lien and levy.

  • James Hays

    For payment of work done by private contract, Nonemployee Compensation was an expense to a corporation and reported on a 1099 for which a NOD was issued to a natural person. No taxable privilege was exercised. No federal gross income was received & No return filed. IRS intimidated a petition to USTC within 90 days. Now what?

    • Lysander

      Hello James,
      Although I have written a book about it, I do not recommend tax court for guys like you who know the truth. How long ago did you get the NOD? and have you filed a 1040 return? Your answers to those questions will determine your options at this point.

      You can reply to me at lysandervenible at startmail dot com.

  • george

    How long is a lien good for after the year in question?

    • Lysander

      Usually until the collection statute expires, 10 years from the date of assessment.

    • Alvis Jenkins

      George: I see it is now just over a year since seeing your predicament with the IRS. Here is something you apparently did not know about the lien or levy of 26 U.S.C. The lien and levy are “controlled” by regulation which is provided by the United States Government Printing Office in a table of parallel authorities. The regulation that controls both the lien and levy is 27 C.F.R. Part 70 which is only for unpaid and delinquent alcohol, tobacco and firearms taxes, not income taxes. The IRS is notorious for citing a 26 C.F.R.regulation which has no force and effect of law since it is not found in the parallel table of authorities. This action by the IRS is known as acting “under color of law”.

  • I have a lien against me by the irs on job and my credit report.Since then I have been solicited by many attorneys and organizations claiming to help for fees.Along with my job giving them my money.I never went to court never had any due process.How do I right this wrong?

    • Alvis Jenkins

      The lien is not a official lien that the IRS falsely and unlawfully filed against you in your county court with a ignorant clerk of the court who ignores the tax laws of 26 U.S.C. and other federal documents such as the Uniform Federal Lien Registration Act. All federal liens of 26 U.S.C. are controlled by 27 C.F.R. Part 70 regulations which is only for unpaid alcohol, tobacco and firearms taxes. Your employer is also ignorant of 26 U.S.C. or he would not be withholding federal income tax on income you receive that is non-federal income, per subtitle C, Chapter 24, Section 3402.

  • Shane

    Alvis, now that we know the IRS and Employer shouldn’t be garnishing. Whats the quickest way to get them both to comply and stop the garnishment?

    • Lysander

      Shane, once a levy has begun there are several things you can do to have it removed, but you will not be able to have it removed without making some kind of payment arrangement. There is no court that is going to agree that you do not owe the money at this point. And there is no court that will agree that the levy is defective. Your strongest argument would be that the levy is creating a hardship. Such an argument would require that you provide detailed financial information to the Service, and set up an Installment Agreement that you can afford. Alternatively you could be declared “Currently Non-Collectible.” But in such a circumstance, you would probably not be working or have many dependents to care for. Contact me if you would like to talk in detail about your possibilities.

  • Terry

    I sorry Lysander, I must disagree with you on that no court is going to agree that you do not owe the money at this point. In a Court of Common Law, an affidavit of truth submitted should be all that it takes to get the taxman off your case!! (this is not legal advice)

    • Lysander

      Well if you can manage to find a federal common law court anywhere, please let me know how to bring a case to it. In the meantime, don’t count on any federal court finding that you don’t owe taxes on your revenue.

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