IRS Tax Liens up 74 Percent

The IRS is addicted to filing liens — even in an era when the American people need tax reliefthe most. The use of tax liens has increased an astounding 74% since 2006. A report released this week by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) shows that the use of all available IRS collection tools are on the rise. But when it comes to liens, the IRS clings to them like a chain smoker does to his pack of Camels.

Both obviously do more harm than good. Liens have been shown to destroy one’s credit and ability to earn a living, thereby making it even more difficult to pay back what is owed. I’m not sure why lien filings have increased. Perhaps it is an old habit for the IRS who sees it as an easy way to do something on an account where other options are not apparent. Whatever it is, the IRS needs to get a little more creative.

Although none are as impressive as the statistic on lien filings, the TIGTA report cites the following additional statistics:

  • 4% increase in number of levies and seizures in 2010
  • 4% increase in number of IRS employees between 2006 and 2010 (103,811 employees in 2006 compared to 107,622 employees in 2010, with a huge spike during fiscal year 2010)
  • 19% increase in number of Collection & Exam function Enforcement personnel (not including management)

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