If you've been notified by the IRS either over the phone or by mail that you owe them, that's all the warning you get.
If after contact, you don't pay them completely and voluntarily - they have the right to take every penny that you owe from them...one way or another.
They don't have to take you to court or sue you to get their money. If they've sent the collection notices and you've refused to pay or haven't paid in full – that's all they need to do.
That's when it can get ugly:
- They can dip straight into your bank account and take your money
- They can garnish your wages or salary
- They can take your social security, 401(k) or IRA's
- They can take any money owed to you – like accounts receivable or sales commissions
Plus, they can seize your property:
- Cars / Boats / Motorcycles
- Homes / Vacation Property / Investment Property
Imagine mailing off a check for your mortgage payment and being notified by your bank that your check bounced.
In bewilderment you reply "...That can't be right. I know I had enough money in the account to cover that check...there must be some mis..."
You break off in mid-sentence because you realize in horror what just happened. Your face turns white as a sheet. The IRS has seized the money in your bank account.
The bank representative on the other line says "uh...hello...are you still there?"
You manage to eek out "Um...yeah...I'm still here...uh...let me call you back"
"What would you like us to do about the check?" they ask.
"...um...I'll take care of it...uh...just let me call you back" You manage to get out before you hang up quickly.
Your mind starts racing, thinking about what other checks you wrote that are now going to bounce.
How are you going to buy groceries ? How are you going to pay the car payment? What else are they going to do? Are they going to start dipping into your paycheck, too? Will they take your house, your car...everything?