IRS seizures occur when the IRS uses force to take taxpayers’ assets or property so that it can auction the properties off to cover unpaid taxes. To ensure that a taxpayer’s rights are protected, Congress put specific procedures in place in the IRS Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998 that the IRS is required to follow when seizing a taxpayer’s property and assets.
IRS Seizures Report
The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration’s office (TIGTA) recently released its annual report tracking the IRS’ compliance with these seizure procedures.
The IRS made 738 seizures in the 12-month period ending June 30, 2013. The Inspector General reviewed a random sample of these seizures for compliance with the procedures that the IRS is required to follow. Thirty percent (30%) of the seizures sampled contained one or more compliance violations.
The TIGTA report warned that violating seizure procedures can result in a violation of taxpayer rights. However, the report did not contain any suggestions for procedural improvements.
IRS officials made no comment on the report.
When the IRS is trying to run rough shod over a taxpayer’s rights, the name of the game is to make the IRS play by the rules, even when they don’t want to.