IRS Letters: How Far Away is Collections? 1

The IRS sends a series of letters before they take actual collection action on you. Here we will go through the basic letters and if you are receiving any of these letters, you will get an idea of where you are along the path of the IRS trying to levy your bank account or garnish your wages. If you hire someone to work on your case, they should contact the IRS and let them know they are going to submit a proposal, which will halt further collection action. Some tax relief firms just send out settlements without any prior contact. This can result in an unfortunate situation where a levy is issued and the IRS Offer In Compromise department chooses not to release it.

Then, for however long as your settlement is pending, you also are getting garnished by the IRS. At TRP we call the IRS right away when we are hired, so we can avoid all collection action on your case. It’s important to note that if you have moved since you last filed a tax return, the IRS might not have your correct address and you may not receive any letters at all before a tax levy or garnishment is issued against you.

If you prefer to watch a video on this subject, scroll down to the bottom of this post.

So here are the different IRS letters and what they mean:

Amount Due

This letter is the first in the series of collections letters. It literally just states “Amount Due” and a dollar amount. These letters are usually based on the year of the debt, although sometimes letters will be issued that contain multiple years. So if you get one of these, it most likely does not include all the debts you owe and is referencing one particular year. Your case still usually has a few months until it’s in the IRS collections area.

Notice of Intent to Levy: Intent to seize your property or rights to property

Once you receive this letter, you are getting closer to IRS collections, but not there yet. If your case has reached this stage, it’s best to try to resolve it now or hire someone to get started.

Call Immediately to Prevent Property Loss Final Notice of Intent to Levy

30-60 days after this letter is issued, most likely a levy will be submitted. The IRS claims they will issue it after 30 days if you do not respond, but often it takes up to 60 days. Many times the levies go to old employers or banks and you do not always get hit. Then later on the IRS system issues another levy when new data is received and then they finally get to you at your job or levy your bank. Once you receive one of these letters, either hire someone right away to help you or contact the IRS before the 30 days from the date of the letter is up.

Garnishment and Levy Letters

Once the Final Notice of Intent to Levy time frame is up, the IRS may issue a levy or garnishment. They may try to come after your bank account, your wages, accounts receivable, merchant processing accounts, or other sources of income they can locate electronically through their system. The case may also eventually be assigned to an IRS revenue officer, but this usually is only in high amount due cases.

Not sure where you stand on your case? Let one of our expert tax relief attorneys evaluate your case for free. Fill out our contact form for guidance on resolving your tax debt or call us at (888) 515-4829. There is no obligation, and if we can’t help we will point you in the right direction.

Your information is only sent to TRP, is 100% confidential, and is not shared with anyone. We are only interested in helping you if we can. If we can’t, point you in the right direction.

IRS Letters - Understanding Collection Letters and What They Mean

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