Published: October 29, 2020 | Last Updated: April 27, 2023
View our interactive tax map to see where you are in the tax process. It could help you navigate your way through the IRS.
You have an unpaid tax debt and the IRS has issued a levy, which is a legal seizure of your property or assets. It is different from a lien — while a lien makes a claim to your assets as security for a tax debt, the levy seizes your property (such as funds from a bank account, Social Security benefits, wages, your car, or your home). It also could mean that you have requested the IRS to return funds levied, and your request has been rejected. For specifics, see Levies and Publication 1660.
The IRS has issued a levy to collect a tax debt. You may owe the tax debt, or another person or entity may owe the tax debt.
The first thing to do is to check the return address to be sure the letter or notice is from the Internal Revenue Service and not another agency or a scammer. You can search notices and letters by number at IRS.gov.
If the levy is from the IRS, and your property or federal payments are seized, call the number on your levy notice or 1-800-829-1040. If you’re already working with and IRS employee, call him or her for assistance. Be prepared to propose an alternative way to pay your taxes, if you owe the tax debt.
Depending on the circumstances, your relief options can vary:
Please note that there are time limits associated with each type of request.
The Taxpayer Advocate Service is an independent organization within the IRS that helps taxpayers and protects taxpayers’ rights. We can offer you help if your tax problem is causing a financial difficulty, you’ve tried and been unable to resolve your issue with the IRS, or you believe an IRS system, process, or procedure just isn’t working as it should. If you qualify for our assistance, which is always free, we will do everything possible to help you.
Visit www.taxpayeradvocate.irs.gov or call 1-877-777-4778.
Low Income Taxpayer Clinics (LITCs) are independent from the IRS and TAS. LITCs represent individuals whose income is below a certain level and who need to resolve tax problems with the IRS. LITCs can represent taxpayers in audits, appeals, and tax collection disputes before the IRS and in court. In addition, LITCs can provide information about taxpayer rights and responsibilities in different languages for individuals who speak English as a second language. Services are offered for free or a small fee. For more information or to find an LITC near you, see the LITC page on the TAS website or Publication 4134, Low Income Taxpayer Clinic List.