The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has provided new instructions for persons who wish to file wrongful levy claims against the IRS pursuant to Internal Revenue Code § 6343(b). These instructions are set forth in IRS Publication 4528 (Rev. Nov. 2007). If the IRS were to take your property to pay taxes that someone else owed a wrongful levy claim is one of the ways to get your property back.
Why would the IRS seize your property to pay someone else’s taxes? Well it might just be a mistake, but that’s unlikely. One way it might happen is if a closely held corporation ran into IRS or California payroll tax problems. Perhaps the owner decided that rather than deal with this tax problem he would start another company; we will call it “Newco.” When the IRS gets wind of this if it determines that Newco is a transferee, nominee or alter ego of the original company (let’s call it “Oldco”) it will levy (that is seize) the assets of Newco to satisfy the payroll tax liability of Oldco.
Newco may have some defenses to the IRS levy. For example in some cases if Newco paid fair market value for the assets of Oldco it is possible that Newco may not be responsible for Oldco’s payroll taxes. In order to get the money back it would be appropriate to file a wrongful levy claim with the IRS. Another possible remedy is to file suit in United States District Court under Internal Revenue Code Section 7426(a)(1).
Perhaps the most important thing to know about a wrongful levy claim is that it must be made within 9 months of the seizure, so you need to act very quickly. If you think that the IRS has improperly served a levy on your property please contact the California tax lawyers at Brager Tax Law Group, A P.C.