What if the IRS wants to sell my home?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jul 15, 2021

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The IRS will sell your home if ignored. However, the IRS cannot sell your home without giving you adequate notice. It is imperative that you seek legal tax counsel immediately. The sooner you speak with the IRS or hire a tax attorney to do the same, the greater chance you have of preventing your home from becoming an “IRS home.” The IRS examines a number of factors before deciding to sell and setting the price for the sale of your home. You also have rights of redemption for a specified time period after an IRS home sale has occurred.

IRS Home Sale Process

The IRS always sends two notices before enacting any sale or seizure of property. If both notices are unanswered by the taxpayer, the IRS has the authority to begin taking additional measures to get the person’s attention and collect the tax debt. Under federal law, the IRS may seize all forms of property including your home, although typically the IRS will seize bank accounts before threatening to sell your home.

Hiring a Tax Attorney

If the IRS has sent you a notice of intent to seize and sell property, it is time to hire a tax attorney. While you could attempt the negotiations on your own, a tax attorney will make much more headway with the IRS. When you go for your consultation with the attorney, bring all previous IRS notices, current bank statements, and all tax information for the years in question. Oftentimes, a tax attorney can find an exception for part of the currently owed debt.

Handling the IRS On Your Own

If you do intend to attempt negotiations yourself, call the number listed on the IRS notice and speak with your assigned IRS agent. Do not accept any settlement negotiations that the IRS agent offers unless he sends such offers in writing, and the settlement offers are signed. Finally, make certain that the settlement agreement specifies that all debt collection attempts are to cease so long as the settlement contract is followed. Also, specify that all other tax debt will be forgiven. 

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