How Do IRS Seizures of Property Work?

If you owe the IRS money for unpaid taxes, penalties, or interest, the IRS can conduct an IRS seizure and take your property to pay the debt. The IRS can seize real estate, cars, jewelry, art, household goods, stock, and almost any asset you have. But if the IRS seizes levied property from you to pay a tax debt, it must follow certain procedures set forth by the IRS code and regulations. 


After the Property Seizure


Once the IRS seizes your property, it must calculate a “minimum bid price.” The IRS must also provide you with the calculations and allow you the opportunity to challenge the estimated fair market value. The IRS will then notify you of the sale and announce the sale to the public through newspaper announcements, publicly posted flyers, and websites. You can find IRS property listings for sale on the Treasury Department’s website. After giving public notice of the sale, the IRS must wait ten days to sell the property. In some limited situations, you may be able to reclaim seized property before the IRS sells it.


Public Auction


The IRS Code requires the IRS to use a public or sealed bid auction to sell the seized property. These auctions must be open to the public and conducted by an auctioneer or through the General Services Administration auctions. At the end of the bidding process, the highest bid wins the auctioned property.


After the sale, the IRS will apply the proceeds to the costs of seizing and selling the property and your tax debt. If there’s anything left after those debts are paid, the IRS will notify you and tell you how to get a refund.


You Need a Tax Professional


If you have a tax problem or are concerned about a possible property levy or seizure from the IRS, it may be time to discuss your questions with a skilled tax professional. If the IRS has notified you of a levy or seized your property, you must act quickly. Contact Highland Tax Group to see how we can help you.