Will the IRS take money out of a shared bank account?

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The IRS has several options for trying to get the money it’s owed. One such option is what’s called a bank levy.

What is a bank levy?

A bank levy is when the IRS freezes a bank account. The bank is forced to freeze money in your account up to the amount owed at the time it receives the notice to do so. Unless the bank is informed otherwise, they send the money to the IRS after 21 days.

You may not even realize this has happened until the money is gone.

Will I get any notice of the bank levy?

A bank levy is not an immediate action. Some things have to happen before issuing a bank levy. Usually, there are three things that must occur before they levy your bank account.

First, they’ll assess what you owe and send what’s called a “Notice and Demand for Payment.” You then have to have ignored the notice and not paid your balance. Then, the IRS will send you a “Final Notice of Intent to Levy.” The IRS will send this notice at least 30 days before the levy occurs.

Will they only take part of the money, since it’s a joint account?

No. If your name is on a bank account, the IRS can and will take it all. Whether the joint account is with your spouse, child, parent, or anyone else, all funds can be seized as if it belonged only to you.

The best thing to do is resolve your tax debt before the IRS levies your bank account. You may feel that’s not possible, which is why you should call my office to discuss the details of your situation. Find out what options you may have to pay off the debt.

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