TIGTA: IRS Generally Respecting Taxpayer Rights in Imposing Levies

Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
Aug 25, 2017

The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) found that, for the most part, the IRS was respecting taxpayer rights when it came to imposing levies for delinquent taxes, according to a recent report. The law requires that the IRS, in addition to giving the taxpayer 30 calendar days’ notice of the IRS’s intent to levy, notify taxpayers of their right to request a Collection Due Process (CDP) hearing at which taxpayers can raise various issues with respect to the proposed levy (CDP rights). These provisions also require that all levy actions be suspended during the 30 calendar days prior to the levy as well as throughout the entire period that a hearing (including any appeals from the hearing) is pending.

CDP rights include the right to a fair and impartial hearing before the Office of Appeals. If taxpayers fail to request a CDP hearing within the 30-day period, taxpayers can request an equivalent hearing within one year of the date that the CDP notice is issued, and the IRS will grant an equivalent hearing. An equivalent CDP hearing is essentially the same as a regular CDP hearing except there is no right to seek judicial review of the Office of Appeals’ decision. 

TIGTA said that the IRS generally is respectful of these rights when issuing systemic and manual levies. It also found that when a levy was under appeal, the IRS suspended or took no levy actions that involved the same tax period. It did note, though, that the when there were additional taxes assessed prior to issuing levies, 18 percent of taxpayers with systemic levies and 24 percent of those with manual levies did not receive a notice of intent after the additional assessments were made. It also found that 8 percent of taxpayers did not receive a new notice of intent to levy after an additional assessment was made on a tax period listed in the levy.

TIGTA noted, though, that the IRS was already working on programming fixes to address these issues and so did not make any recommendations. 

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