A recent report from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration reveals that approximately 30 percent of all IRS-conducted seizures of taxpayer property are effectively illegal, claiming the federal tax agency regularly ignores or circumvents legal protections designed to prevent such abuses. This could have dramatic effects on Texas residents who have lost property or assets following an IRS audit. Parties who believe they may have been wronged in such a way should contact an experienced Texas attorney specializing in tax law.
This marks the latest development in a series of IRS scandals that have recently come to light, including allegations of wasted taxpayer funds, credit card abuse by IRS employees and the reported targeting of conservative organizations for audit cases. The backlash has been so intense that the a House of Representatives Committee recently barred an IRS official from claiming the Fifth Amendment, effectively forcing her to testify regarding the scandal.
According to the most recent TIGTA report, titled Fiscal Year 2013 Review of Compliance With Legal Guidelines When Conducting Seizures of Taxpayers’ Property, a sample of 50 IRS seizures from between July 2011 and June 2012 found the IRS failed to comply with aspects of the tax code in 15 of those cases. Among those 15 instances, TIGTA found at least 17 disobeyed mandates, including failures to accurately inform taxpayers of the proceeds resulting from the sale of their forfeited property or correctly list the liabilities which prompted the seizures on notices delivered to those individuals.
It is important to note that in none of the cases did the IRS seize property from a taxpayer when it was legally entitled to do so. Failing to pay off tax debts can result in the loss of personal property. However, the study confirmed that in nearly one third of surveyed cases, IRS officials made a major, unlawful error in the way they conducted such seizures.
This emphasizes the importance of seeking legal assistance for Texas taxpayers who believe the IRS may have made a mistake in any aspect of handling their income taxes or associated liabilities.
Forbes, “Many IRS Seizures Are Illegal, Government Report Concludes” Robert W. Wood, Jul. 05, 2013