A lien on your property can certainly make life hard on you by destroying your credit and making it virtually impossible to sell your house – but it doesn’t necessarily get the IRS what they want ¼ your money. A lien is a coercion tactic more so than a direct ploy to get what they’re really after – your cold, hard cash. A seizure of your property gives them just that -property ¼ but not necessarily money. They still have to go through the trouble and the cost of selling your belongings in an auction to extract money out of your belongings. ¼ That is, until they garnish your wages. The IRS realizes that the one way it can virtually guarantee to get their money is to place a form of levy on your future income – a garnishment. This is a “safe bet” for the IRS, since they know that you will always need to earn money to survive in the future. You may be able to go without a car, a house or even cash in your bank account for now ¼ but you can’t go long without a paycheck. You most likely aren’t going to quit your job just so you can’t be forced to pay the IRS back taxes. That would be “cutting off your nose to spite your face”. There are three specific steps that the IRS must go through before a wage garnishment goes into place: 1. The IRS must assess your tax and notify you that there is a deficiency by sending you a “Notice and Demand for Payment”. 2. You neglect or refuse to pay the tax 3. The IRS sends you a “Final Notice of Intent to Levy and Notice of Your Right to A Hear- ing” (levy notice) at least 30 days before the levy. They may give you this notice in person, leave it at your home or your usual place of business, or send it to your last known address by certified or registered mail, return receipt requested. If you don’t act during this time, you’ll be headed straight into a potential financial disaster. The IRS will leave you very little in your paycheck to survive, and there’s a very good chance that it won’t be enough to pay your bills.