An Overview of the IRS Tax Collections Process for Non-Tax Lawyers
14. Asset Seizure
The final thing that revenue officers can do is they can seize assets. While ACS can seize assets as we mentioned earlier, revenue officers can seize physical property, which makes it very difficult.
One of the nasty stories that we have is we had a client who was called to an IRS meeting for a summons interview. When the client showed up at the building and saddened him with an interview with the agent, the agent took the stub of seizing the client’s vehicle out of the parking lot while the administrative summons is going on.
That’s a pretty extreme case. The client in this case had done some particularly bad things and had kind of upset the revenue officer and sort of had it coming.
But at the same point, the revenue officers have the ability to seize vehicles. They can seize boats. If it moves, they will take it.
Generally speaking from an administrative level, it is difficult to seize assets that are not cash. Because the IRS is not in the business of collecting cars. The IRS will generally go after cash assets first. It is rare although possible, that the IRS will seize physical assets as well.
That’s why it’s important to negotiate with the revenue officer, particularly in high-dollar cases to prevent the seizure and sale of assets that might be a particular value to the taxpayer.
They can also seize jewelry. They can seize any number of items so you want to be sure you communicate with the revenue officer and smooth things over as quickly as possible.