In my practice we frequently help taxpayers in Lufkin or cities around East Texas who have gotten behind on their federal income tax liability and are in hot water with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) . If you find yourself in that same situation it's helpful to understand how the IRS collection process works.
After a tax return is filed and processed the IRS will assess the taxpayer for any taxes due. A billing notice (or demand for payments) is mailed to the taxpayer. If the total due is not paid, then a silent federal tax lien arises automatically by law and attaches to all the taxpayer's assets owned and later acquired.
If the balance continues to go unpaid the IRS will send another billing notice and then will send a final notice of intent to levy the taxpayer's income and assets. This notice of intent to levy begins the statutory 30-day window for the taxpayer to request a Collection Due Process (CDP) hearing.
If the balance due is greater than $10,000 the IRS will file a Notice of Federal Tax Lien (NFTL) on both the land records in Angelina County (or wherever the taxpayer resides) and the Texas Secretary of State (SOS).
Upon receipt of the NFTL or final notice of the IRS's intent to levy, the taxpayer has 30 days to request a Collection Due Process (CDP) hearing with an Appeals Officer or Settlement Officer. At the end of that 30 days if the taxpayer does not request a CDP or pay the outstanding balance the IRS will levy the taxpayers assets. These levy actions can include cleaning out bank accounts, garnishing wages, and going after anyone who might owe the taxpayer money.
These collection efforts will continue until either the taxpayer's IRS tax debit is paid in full, or they begin to take a proactive approach to settling their tax debt. The first step in that process is calling a competent professional, like me, to get their tax issues resolved.