Our tax relief clients often ask us if they should be worried about the IRS taking their home or other valuable assets. We have to be careful about the way we answer this question because the IRS certainly has the power and authority to seize assets; they do it all the time. However, we can often predict the likelihood of seizure based on the taxpayer’s individual circumstances.
For instance, seizures will generally not be conducted where taxpayers “will pay” or “can’t pay.” The “will pay” situation is typically one in which the taxpayer is making preparations to pay, either by selling assets, obtaining a loan, or negotiating an installment agreement with the IRS. If the taxpayer is “Currently Not Collectible” or is in the Offer in Compromise process, then these are considered “can’t pay” situations.
On the other hand, seizures will be considered where taxpayers “won’t pay.” This is the category of taxpayers who repeatedly refuse to file tax returns and who keep piling up tax balances year after year. It also includes those who rely on frivolous tax arguments or who refuse to cooperate with the IRS. IRM 188.8.131.52.