Tax Problems

Bank Levies

Facing a Bank Account Levy from the IRS? The bank account levy is the harshest IRS collection tool and your time left to act is short.

Older couple looking concerned staring at bank levies paperwork together

“It is always important to check your mail as a Notice of Levy generally comes with appeal rights. The government cannot take anything from you without due process and with the IRS that process comes via mail. You must timely respond or you may lose your rights.”

- Alyssa Maloof Whatley

Green circle with an envelope

Pro Tip:

There’s no hiding from the IRS.

The IRS will track down your bank account using your social security number or even the banking information you provided on a prior return.

What Is A Bank Levy?

The IRS letters get harsher and harsher in tone…until you finally get the Notice of Intent to Levy. The bank levy is by far one of the harshest collection tools available to the IRS and it is one that they typically reserve for unresponsive taxpayers.

You do still have time to act.

Believe me, the IRS – despite their reputation – would rather work with taxpayers whenever possible. But an impending bank levy is serious. It means not having access to funds in your checking account to pay your bills or buy groceries.

It’s serious and your time to negotiate with the IRS is drawing short as the bank holds the money for 21days. This means it is possible to get the money back. However, you need to act fast to get a tax professional on your side to make sure to get the levy released before the funds are sent to the IRS.

What Happens When The IRS Levies My Bank Account?

The levy is a collection effort by the IRS to be paid for back taxes, penalties, and interest you owe. Upon receiving a levy notice from the IRS, your bank will put a freeze on your available funds.

There is a 21-day holding period before the seized funds are sent to the IRS to pay off or pay down your obligation. Outside of those facing financial hardship, most taxpayers will have to come into compliance with all filings to have levied funds released back to them.

To determine your options for successfully navigating a bank levy release, you should speak with a qualified tax professional.

Neatly stacked credit cards on a stable
From left to right, Alyssa Maloof Whatley, Harrison Kulp, and Kiara Maxie

Can The IRS Seize My Bank Account Without Notice?

It’s rare, but it does happen. Typically, in this scenario the IRS has reason to believe that their ability to successfully collect is in jeopardy, they plan to seize your state refund, or you were served with a Disqualified Employment Tax Levy.

Typically, How Many Notices Does The IRS Send Before They Levy A Bank Account?

The IRS will send a bill and several demand letters for payment before they issue a Notice of Intent to Levy.

If you’ve received a Notice of Intent to Levy it is extremely important to take fast action. This notice affords you some significant and important rights. You may even be able to take advantage of strategies that will allow you to avoid a levy entirely.

It’s important to engage a tax professional about your particular situation to assess your available options and to formulate an effective strategy.