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Merlo, Accountant
Category: Tax
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Experience:  25+ years tax consulting. Specializing in returns for US citizens living abroad
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How can I find out if the irs has put a lein or levy on my

Resolved Question:

How can I find out if the irs has put a lein or levy on my home. Last September, I had a nervous breakdown, and then a heart attack. I wasn't home to get my mail and there was letters from the irs in my name that my husband lost. Is there a number I can call to find out, or if the irs had levied my home would they have auctioned it already.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  Merlo replied 6 years ago.

Hello Customer,


The IRS is required to notify you in writing within 10 days of the time they place a lien on your property. They are not required to send you out any notices after that time. If a lien was placed on your property, it is possible that this notice was included in the correspondence you received that has since been lost.


When the IRS does place a lien on someone's property, they do not typically "seize" that property and offer it for sale. The simply leave the lien in place until such time as the outstanding taxes are paid.


It sounds as though you may have already taken care of any back taxes that you owed. If that is the case, then even if a lien had been placed on your property, it should have been removed once the tax debt was paid in full. You can call the IRS to inquire whether or not a tax lien was placed on your property and, if one was placed, you can find out if and when it was removed. You do not always get a timely response from the IRS on these issues. For that reason the quickest way to find out if a lien was placed would simply be to contact the recorder of deeds in the county where your property is located to find out if any liens have been filed on your property.


Also, if you have difficulties in obtaining this information from the IRS, you can also call the Taxpayers Advocate Services. This is a group of volunteers who help taxpayers get information regarding their accounts with the IRS when they are having trouble getting this information on their own through normal channels. The taxpayer advocates can cut through some of the red tape and get answers to your questions normally easier than you can on your own. The TAS should be able to help you get information on whether or not a lien was placed on your property and also get you an updated report on the status of your account with the IRS as to where you currently stand with any taxes that may still be owed.


You can contact the Taxpayer Advocate Service at 1-877-777-4778 and they will put you in touch with the local office that serves your area.



Thank you



Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Would the irs place a levy on my property?

I recieved the tax letters from them last September and then in March got notices for the unfilled taxes which I jointly filled with my husband. I sent them the money I thought I owed but they sent it back. When I called them they said to pay 2007 and they were still working on 2006. I'm so afraid of having my home levied.

Expert:  Merlo replied 6 years ago.

Hello again PT Beth,


Normally the only time that the IRS places a lien on a home or other property you own, is if you showed to attempt at cooperating with them in getting your taxes paid. Even if yu owe taxes which you cannot afford to pay all at one time, as long as you set up a payment plan with the IRS to pay off what you owe, then as long as you stay current on those payments, they will not place a lien on your home.


Even when a lien is placed on your home, the IRS generally does not actually "seize" your home from underneath you and sell it in order to get their tax money. They simply let the lien stay in place until such time as the property is sold and they would receive their money out of the sales proceeds, if you still owed them taxes at that time.


It is impossible to know for sure whether or not the IRS has placed a lien on your property. If they intially contacted you last September regarding this matter and did not receive any responses at that time, then it is possible that liens were filed. But if you are now working with them to bring your account up to date, once that is complete that lien would be released. In the meantime, you should not be concerned about actually losing your home over this.


I would suggest calling the IRS to see if they can give you this information in a timely manner. Otherwise contact the TAS as I suggested earlier, as they can likely tell you in a more timely fashion whether or not a lien was placed on your property.


If this was helpful please press the Accept button. It is the only way we receive any credit for helping with these questions.


Thank you



Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Merlo isn't a lein different than a levy? Do you think they could have possibly put a levy on my home which means they take it. If they did take my house last september would they have auctioned it already?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I'm thinking if they put a levy on my home they never would have sent the unfilled notices in March. What do you think?
Expert:  Merlo replied 6 years ago.

Hello again PT Beth,


That is not necessarily the case. Just because they place a lien on your home does not mean that they discontinue their collection activities. The lien is simply a safeguard in place that protects the IRS in the event you would try to sell the property. They know that if you sell the property, any taxes you owe would be paid to them out of the sale proceeds. But in the meantime, they are still going to send you notices of what you owe and request that those amounts be paid.


The only way to know for sure if a lien has been filed is to contact the IRS directly, or to go through the TAS, or to contact the recorder of deeds in the county where your home is located. Anything else is just guesswork as there is no other way to know for certain whether a lien was filed.



Thank you



Merlo and 3 other Tax Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Oh I understand, so when they sent me the notice in March and I replied I am showing them I am trying to satisfy my debt. I will make those phone calls. I did ask the person from the irs if there was a lein on my property and they said no. I also checked my credit report and nothing was listed. Thanks for the help. I will call the irs again and the tas too.
Expert:  Merlo replied 6 years ago.

Thank you for using JA


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