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Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration

Press Release


July 6, 2010
TIGTA - 2010-28
Contact: David Barnes
(202) 622-6500
David.Barnes@tigta.treas.gov
TIGTA-PAO@tigta.treas.gov

TIGTA Report: The IRS Protects Taxpayer Rights When Issuing Levies

WASHINGTON - A new report publicly released by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) finds that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is protecting taxpayer rights when issuing systemically generated and manually prepared levies.

When taxpayers do not pay delinquent taxes, the IRS has the authority to work directly with financial institutions and other third parties to seize taxpayers' assets, an action commonly referred to as a "levy."

The Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998 requires the IRS to notify taxpayers at least 30 calendar days before initiating any levy action to give taxpayers an opportunity to formally appeal the proposed levy.

TIGTA determined that the IRS has sufficient controls in place to ensure that taxpayers are advised of their right to a hearing at least 30 calendar days prior to any levy action.

"Levies have a serious impact on the taxpayer, so it is particularly important that the IRS protect taxpayers' rights when issuing them," said J. Russell George, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. "I am pleased that the IRS is using this very powerful tool with care."

To view the report, including the scope, methodology, and full IRS response, go to: http://www.treas.gov/tigta/auditreports/2010reports/201030068fr.pdf.

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