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Is the IRS meeting all notice-related requirements for tax liens?

The Internal Revenue Service is subject to a variety of regulations and requirements when it comes to using tax liens against taxpayers in relation to tax debts. Among these are requirements related to issuing notice of a tax lien filing.

In a recent report, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration looked at samples of filed IRS tax lien notices and undelivered IRS lien notices to see how the IRS is doing with complying with notice regulations. While the report found that, in most cases, the IRS did what it was supposed to when it comes to notice, there were some instances in which notice-related oversights/problems occurred.

One IRS requirement that touches on tax lien notices is the requirement that, when a taxpayer has a taxpayer representative, the IRS is to issue the taxpayer reprehensive copies of all correspondence the taxpayer is sent by the agency. In its review of the above-mentioned samples, the TIGTA found a handful of incidents in which this requirement was not complied with when it came to lien notices.

Another lien-notice-related requirement the IRS is subject to is that it is required to send, in a timely manner, the tax lien notice to the last-known address of the taxpayer. The TIGTA, in its review, found certain instances where the IRS potentially ran afoul of these rules. Specifically, the TIGTA found some instances in which the IRS ended up sending a lien notice to a taxpayer address that was old and out-of-date, despite having a newer, more current address for the taxpayer on file.

One wonders how common IRS lien notice problems like the ones the TIGTA report found are. One also wonders what kinds of measures the IRS will end up taking in upcoming years when it comes to preventing these kinds of oversights/problems.

Failure by the IRS to comply with notice requirements or other regulations when it comes to tax liens can have big impacts in lien cases. Tax attorneys knowledgeable of the rules/regulations regarding tax liens can help taxpayers who are being subjected to an IRS lien identify whether the IRS has met all relevant lien rules, and can advise them on what actions can be taken if the IRS failed to comply with regulations in its lien-related conduct.

Source: Accounting Today, “IRS Misrouted Tax Lien Notices,” Michael Cohn, July 19, 2016

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