Is The IRS Capable of Making Big Mistakes?

One would hope the IRS would be more organized and incapable of making huge, glaring errors. Things like putting a lien and a levy on a well-known politicians’ house “by mistake” twice in five years, sounds like more than a fluke.  However, according to a recent Forbes article, this is what happened to Christine O’Donnell, a former Senate Candidate.

Kelly Phillips Erb, the author of the Forbes article writes, “While it’s not out of the question for the IRS to make a mistake, I would agree that being the subject of a lien and a levy twice for the same transaction is more than a coincidence. I would agree that it smacks of either targeting or very bad record keeping or some combination of the two.” (

Having a lien or levy placed against your property, assets or wages by the IRS is no fun for anybody. It almost always feels as though one is being unnecessarily targeted. Whether it is in error or not, stress levels skyrocket and any dealings with the IRS are always complicated.

IRS tax situations are generally private concerns. However, when the IRS places levies and liens against a property or seizes bank accounts they can move forward alerting creditors that the government has a right to your property. These liens become public when filed in court. So if your neighbors have a habit of reading the legal notices in your community, anyone can become aware of the situation creating even more stress.

To make matters worse, as the Forbes article explains, “When your wages are levied, your employer is required to send a certain amount of your pay directly to the IRS. A levy on your wages generally continues until your tax liability is paid off or until you ask the IRS to release the levy.” The same is true of liens – they are only removed once the debt is paid in full or by application.

The point is that the IRS does make mistakes. However, their mistakes only seem to come to light or attract media attention when someone famous has been wronged. When it comes to the law abiding taxpayer being told they owe back taxes or that their property and assets are being levied mistakenly, the toll can be far more serious.

Should the IRS mistakenly levy your bank account and you live in a small community, you’ll have to deal with your banker. The Forbes author explains the process, “When the IRS levies your bank account, the bank receives a notice that the levy has been issued. The bank must hold the amount that you owe for 21 days; after that time, the bank must send the IRS the amount owed. As a matter of practice, many banks will advise clients that the account has been frozen pending payment (the bank does not have discretion not to make payment unless there are ownership issues).”

The famous, the infamous, the ordinary citizen are all subject to mistakes by the IRS. They are capable and have been known to make big mistakes, little mistakes and mistakes that sometimes change lives. Don’t make the mistake of trying to correct these mistakes on your own. At we exist to help those who are in trouble with the IRS – mistakenly or not – get their troubles resolved.

Please follow and like us: