What does the IRS have the power to take to pay your taxes? 2 Answers as of November 09, 2010

My husband had a huge ordeal with the IRS when they thought his father had not paid his taxes and took out money from his and my husband's bank accounts because Dad's name was on both accounts (this was an account my husband opened when he was in high school, Dad was a cosigner). Proving his dad had nothing to do with his account anymore was a huge pain in the a$$ for my husband. This was before we were married, and now that we are, I was wondering what all the IRS could take from us if they thought one of us did not pay all of our taxes. I assume they could take from our joint bank account, but is there anything else?

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Masson & Fatini, LLP
Masson & Fatini, LLP | Richard E. Masson
The IRS has substantial levying powers to collect unpaid income taxes. However, except in extraordinary cases where the IRS believes that the taxpayer is at high risk of concealing funds or flight, the IRS is precluded from levying against assets without due process. Due process requires sufficient notice to the taxpayer of the purported deficiency; opportunity for the taxpayer to contest the purported deficiency; etc. Assuming that a deficiency exists, then the IRS will expect and require the taxpayer to pay the amount owed.

That being said, if the taxpayer fails to pay the taxes owed, it can levy against any asset that the taxpayer has an ownership interest in. Thus, a joint bank account that the deficient taxpayer is listed on is subject to being levied against by the IRS. In other words, if the deficient taxpayer has an ownership interest in it, the IRS can levy against it.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/9/2010
David Hoines Law
David Hoines Law | David Hoines
All your property is up for grabs to pay taxes owed if you file joint return.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 11/8/2010
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