Tax Lien and Tax Levy Facts – The Expert Advice You Need

What is a Tax Lien?
A tax lien is a claim against one or more of a taxpayer’s assets. It is issued by the IRS or State Tax Agency for the purpose of insuring payment of a tax debt. The tax lien gives the issuing tax agency priority over other potential creditors with respect to the assets identified by the lien. A tax lien is one of the more aggressive steps in the enforced collection process and is usually issued when all other previous attempts to collect a tax debt have been ignored.

How Does a Tax Lien Differ From a Tax Levy?
While the tax lien is a claim against a taxpayer’s property, a levy is the actual seizure of that property. The levy is one of the final steps in the enforced collection process and is used only when a taxpayer has made no attempt to resolve an existing tax liability. Once a Final Notice of Intent to Levy has been issued together with an official notice informing the taxpayer of their right to a formal hearing, the property identified by the levy can be confiscated without further notification.

Under What Conditions Can a Tax Lien Be Withdrawn?
A tax lien can be withdrawn if it was not filed according to established IRS policies and procedures or if it will delay the collection of the tax debt in question. It can also be withdrawn if the taxpayer enters into an installment agreement to repay the debt identified by the lien or if it can be established that withdrawing the lien is in the best interest of the taxpayer.

When is a Tax Lien Released?
A tax lien is released when the tax debt identified by the lien is paid in full. It will also be released if the taxpayer enters into a formal agreement with the issuing tax agency for partial payment of the existing liability. These resolution options include, but are not limited to, an Offer in Compromise or a Partial Payment Installment Agreement. Once the tax debt is paid in full or one of the partial payment settlement plans has been accepted, the taxpayer must submit a formal written request that the lien be removed. Within 30 days of receiving such a request, IRS will issue a Certificate of Release.

What are the Recent Changes to Tax Lien Guidelines?
• The threshold for issuing a tax lien has been raised from $5,000 to $10,000.
• A lien will now be released once a taxpayer has entered into a direct debit installment agreement but after a probationary period to insure that the direct debit agreement is in place and working as planned.
• The qualifying criteria for an Offer in Compromise have been revised to include a larger group of taxpayers. The tax debt ceiling has been raised from $25,000 to $50,000 and the maximum annual income allowed has been increased to $100,000.

If you are the subject of a tax lien or any other type of collection activity by the IRS or State Tax Agency, our experienced professionals can help you stop the action and resolve the tax debt issue that caused it. For more information about our tax debt resolution services, visit us today at Contact us by phone at (877) 889-6527 or by email at to receive a free, no obligation consultation