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If I do not pay my federal income taxes, will the IRS take money from my checking or savings accounts?

Yes, if you file your federal income taxes, owe money, and you do not pay your tax liability or work with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in making payment arrangements, the IRS can seize money from your checking or savings accounts.

Although the IRS can and will seize your checking or savings account, they will not exercise this step right away.  The clock starts ticking on this process after April 15 each year.  Even though you may file a six-month extension on your taxes, if you owe tax to the IRS, they still expect you to make at least an estimated tax payment on April 15.

Ideally, the IRS of course wants you to pay any tax you owe in full when it is due on April 15.  However, the IRS knows that various circumstances—some of which may be beyond your control—happen that make payment in full difficult if not impossible.  Therefore, the IRS makes available to taxpayers various payment options, including payment plans and offer in compromise.  While these payment options provide an advantage to the taxpayer in that you do not have to pay the full balance of your tax liability on April 15, they also carry a disadvantage in that you will have to pay interest on your unpaid tax balance until it is paid in full.

If you fail to pay your tax due or work within the payment options as defined by the IRS, the IRS will take initial steps to be sure you are aware you have an unpaid tax liability.  If you continue to fail to respond to the IRS or otherwise address the tax issue, the IRS will notify you of their intent to place a levy on your personal assets and will ultimate do just that.  A levy gives the IRS the right to take any of your personal assets, including money in your bank accounts, and use those assets to satisfy the unpaid tax liability you owe.

Once the IRS places a levy on your bank accounts, any money deposited into your account will be held by the bank for a period of 21 days (during which you can attempt to demonstrate the levy is an error or will cause you hardship if your money is seized), after which time, the bank will send the funds to the IRS.

The IRS realizes that placing a levy on your bank accounts and other assets can cause a taxpayer serious hardship.  Usually, if you communicate with the IRS and demonstrate that you have a serious intent to address the tax matter, you generally do not have to worry about a levy on your bank accounts.

Can I get help in dealing with my tax issues and working with the IRS?

Yes, if you are unsure of what steps you should take to address your tax liability and how to meet the requests of the IRS, a tax attorney can provide assistance.  A tax attorney will have background and experience in working with the IRS on situations similar to yours, which can provide peace of mind to you in being sure you are doing what you need to do to keep your tax issues from becoming worse.

If you complete the short form below, a tax attorney will review your case and provide you initial feedback specific to your circumstances.  This initial consultation is free of charge, completely confidential, and does not obligate you to anything further.  If once you have heard the initial feedback on your situation you want to hire the attorney, he will already have an initial understanding of your issues and be able to help resolve the matter more quickly.  So please take advantage today of this opportunity to get help in addressing your tax issues and keep the IRS from placing a levy on your bank accounts.