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Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration

Press Release


April 26, 2011
TIGTA - 2011-23
Contact: Karen Kraushaar
(202) 622-6500
karen.kraushaar@tigta.treas.gov
TIGTACommunications@tigta.treas.gov

TIGTA: IRS Is Warning Taxpayers of Its Intent to Issue Levies

WASHINGTON – The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is following its statutory requirement of providing taxpayers with advance notice of its intent to issue levies, according to a new report publicly released today by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA).

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. This action is commonly referred to as a “levy.”

The IRS Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998 (RRA 98) 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 is required by RRA 98 to conduct an annual review of whether the IRS is notifying taxpayers prior to issuing levies.

TIGTA reviewed 30 systemically generated levies identified through the Automated Collection System and the Integrated Collection System and determined that systemic controls were effective to ensure the taxpayers were given notice of their appeal rights at least 30 calendar days prior to the issuance of the levies.

In addition, TIGTA identified 60 manual levies issued by employees on those same systems and determined that all the taxpayers were given notice of their appeal rights at least 30 calendar days prior to issuance of the levies.

“Protecting the rights of taxpayers is a very important responsibility of the IRS,” said J. Russell George, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. “The IRS is to be commended for its continued compliance with this important statutory requirement,” he added.

TIGTA did not make any recommendations in this report. A draft of the report was provided to the IRS for review and comment. The IRS had no comments on the report.

To view the report, including the scope and methodology, go to: http://www.treas.gov/tigta/auditreports/2011reports/201130036fr.pdf.

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