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When the IRS feels they have exhausted other collection options, they can pursue asset seizure. Unlike a levy, in which they take money from wages or accounts, a seizure is the taking and auctioning of physical assets—such as real estate, vehicles, equipment, jewelry, and more. These seized assets are sold at auction, often fetching a much lower value than would be expected. After the IRS receives the funds from the auction, they subtract expenses they incurred in the process, and apply what is left to the tax liability. State taxing authorities may follow a similar process for delinquent state taxes. 

The only good thing about IRS asset seizure is that it is rare, and taxpayers are given plenty of advanced warning. It is obviously easier and faster for the IRS to levy wages or bank accounts than to coordinate with law enforcement and auction facilities. The IRS internal process is slower and more cumbersome, too, as they are required to get layers of management approval, followed by approval from a District Court judge. This is not to mention the possible public relations repercussions; few employees at the IRS want to be interviewed on the local news. Because of these headaches, the IRS will often do everything possible to collect another way. 

But sometimes, IRS Revenue Officers feel they have no choice, and they seize assets. When it is happening to you, it is no comfort to know the lengths to which the IRS went to avoid it. It can be traumatic watching government agents take inventory as they walk through your house or your business, while tow trucks haul your vehicles away. The pressure and desperation can cause you to make ill-advised decisions, including signing agreements with the IRS that make things even worse. 

If you have received notifications stating the intent to seize your assets—or if you have recently had assets marked for auction—you may have the ability to stop or reverse the process, but it is important to act quickly. The tax representation at WatchGuard can act to intervene in this process by directly contacting the Revenue Officer or state taxing authority to negotiate on your behalf. Having someone on your side who knows your rights as a taxpayer can sometimes make all the difference. 

Do not wait until it is too late. Contact WatchGuard today.

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