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Published: October 29, 2020   |   Last Updated: October 13, 2022

Wrongful Levy

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The IRS has issued a Notice of Levy for taxes owed by another person or business other than yourself.  This levy is attaching to your property and you believe that the person or business that owes the tax does not have a right to your property.

This notice or letter may include additional topics that have not yet been covered here. Please check back frequently for updates.

What does this mean to me?

The IRS has issued a levy for taxes owed by another person or business that attaches to your property (such as funds from a bank account, Social Security benefits, wages, your car, your home, or other personal property).   The IRS will continue with collection action unless you take action to alert IRS that this levy is wrongful.

How did I get here?

The person or business listed on the Notice of Levy owes taxes.  The IRS has issued the levy in an effort to collect the taxes.

What are my next steps?

Contact the IRS:  If you believe the person or business that owes the taxes does not have interest in your property, call the number on the Notice of Levy or 1-800-829-1040.

Appeal:  If the funds or property are not yet in IRS possession, as the third party whose property is subject to the collection action, you can request an appeal through the Collection Appeal Program.  See Form 9423, Collection Appeal Request, for more information.

File an administrative wrongful levy claim under IRC 6343(b):  If the funds or property are in IRS possession, your only recourse is to request that the IRS consider returning the funds by filing an administrative wrongful levy claim.  There is a time limit for making a claim.

  1. If the United States has not yet sold the specific seized property, a claim can be made at any time.
  2. If the property has been sold, the claim must be made within 2 years from the date when the Form 2433, Notice of Seizure, was given to the owner of the property.
  3. If funds have been turned over to the IRS or will be turned over to the IRS, the claim must be made within 2 years from the date on the notice of levy.

See Publication 4528, Making an Administrative Wrongful Levy Claim Under Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 6343(b), for more information on how to file your administrative claim.

See Publication 4235, Collection Advisory Offices Contact Information, for information on where to file your administrative claim.

If your claim is rejected, you have the right to appeal through the Collection Appeals Program (CAP).

Bring a civil action in District Court: You can file the civil action prior to filing an administrative claim; however, you may not pursue claims for damages under IRC 7426(h).  If no administrative claim is filed the time limit for bringing a civil action in district court expires 2 years from the date of levy. However, if an administrative claim is filed, the time limit for bringing a wrongful levy suit is extended to the shorter of (1) 12 months from the date of filing of the claim or (2) six months from the mailing of the notice of claim disallowance.

Where can I get additional help?

Understanding your notice or letter

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If you still need help

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.

Related Correspondence

    • Form 668-A, Notice of Levy (bank)
    • Form 668-B, Levy (seize a taxpayer’s property)
    • Form 668-W, Notice of Levy on Wages, Salary, and Other Income (wage)
    • Form 2433, Notice of Seizure
    • Letter 3973, Wrongful Levy Claim Rejection Letter – Untimely Claim
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