When important tax news comes down the pipeline, the Tax Resolution Institute knows how essential it is to keep you informed. According to a new federal government report, the IRS does not always follow legal requirements when issuing liens and lien notices. As a direct result, the report concludes that action is needed to protect taxpayer rights during the IRS lien process. The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) issued the report.
A federal tax lien is issued when the IRS enters into the public record the extent of a taxpayer’s delinquent tax bill. What is most impressive is that the report details that the number of liens filed by the IRS more than tripled between 2000 and 2009, growing from 287,517 to 965,618. Yes, your eyes do not deceive you. In 2009 alone, the Internal Revenue Service filed just under a million tax liens in total. Many Americans clearly are in need of IRS tax relief.
As part of the lien attachment process, the IRS files a lien notice in the appropriate local government office to notify interested parties that an IRS tax lien exists on the funds and assets of the delinquent taxpayer. The IRS must notify the taxpayer within five business days of the filing of a lien notice that the lien has been filed. The taxpayer then has 30 days to request a hearing with the IRS Appeals office before the tax lien turns into a federal tax levy.
The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) performs an annual audit to determine if the IRS is complying with the law regarding lien notifications and federal income taxes. This year’s audit, performed from Sept 2009 to March 2010, examined a statistically valid sample of actual lien notices sent during that period. Beyond several small statistical errors by the IRS, the study found that in 26% of the sampled liens, the IRS did not send lien notices to the taxpayers’ authorized representatives, usually a tax professional like the Tax Resolution Institute.
Federal law requires the IRS to provide the taxpayer’s representatives with copies of all correspondence sent to the taxpayer. In total, TIGTA estimates that 60.675 taxpayers may have been affected by not having their representatives properly notified of the filing of an IRS tax lien against the taxpayer. Since taxpayers in a tax crisis often do not pay proper attention to official correspondence from the IRS, it is essential that a Taxpayer’s representative be informed when a tax lien is filed.
Using a sample of 300 undelivered notices, TIGTA also found that 84% of the time IRS employees did not perform the required research within five business days to determine if the IRS had a different address on file for the taxpayer. The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration recommends that the IRS identify ways to correct these issues involving untimely and undelivered tax lien notices. The IRS already has responded by stating that it agrees with the recommendations and is planning corrective action.
If you have a Federal Tax Lien filed against you by the IRS, the time to take action is now before the lien becomes an IRS Tax Levy. Please contact the Tax Resolution Institute at (877) 829-8370 so we can examine your tax case and provide you with genuine tax relief if you fit into our guidelines. If we choose to take on your delinquent tax debt case, you will achieve the tax resolution you have been hoping to discover.
About Peter Y. Stephan
Peter Y. Stephan, executive director of the Tax Resolution Institute, has been helping people resolve large, complex payroll tax problems and personal income tax problems for over 25 years. Peter has written a book "The Ultimate Tax Resolution Guide" and speaks on Tax Resolution topics frequently.