The IRS has different collection tools at their disposal to ensure that a tax debt is paid. One such tool is a bank levy. The IRS has the ability to issue a bank levy on an account that bears the name of a person who owes the IRS a tax debt. When the IRS decides to take enforced collection action via a bank levy, a notice of levy is sent to the taxpayer’s bank and it attaches to all accounts in the name of the taxpayer whether a sole or joint account. The bank is then legally obligated to honor the levy. Once received, the levy freezes the funds on deposit in the account. The bank will not allow anyone access to the frozen funds for 21 days from the date of receipt of the levy unless released. This 21 day holding period allows time to resolve any issues about account funds ownership and collectability. After the 21 days have elapsed, the bank will send the money plus interest, if it applies, to the IRS if the levy has not been successfully released. Therefore, if you do not want the IRS to take the money in your bank account, you will need to seek a tax relief attorney before the 21st day since your bank received your bank levy.