Tax Blog

Should You Go To An Accountant or An Attorney If The IRS Places a Levy on You?

Few things can turn a good day bad like a levy from the IRS. If the IRS seizes your assets in order to satisfy your tax debt, it’s a good time to get professional help—but who do you call? We asked a team of professionals to weigh in about whether an accountant or attorney is the right lifeline. Here’s what they had to say.

Steven I. Azizi

Steven I. Azizi

Steven is the Senior Partner and co-founder of Miracle Mile Law Group.

If the IRS places a levy on your accounts, you should definitely consult with a lawyer. A lawyer, as opposed to an accountant, will help you file legal appeals and other formal motions with the IRS (and occasionally a court of law) in order to lift the levy. Often times, these appeals and motions require case precedent to sway the authorities in the complainant’s favor. Further, lawyers are trained in negotiations, and that is exactly what occurs when trying to lift these levies.

Claudia Revermann

Claudia Revermann

Co-Founder of Lucent Tax Relief, Attorney at Law, CPA

Claudia Revermann has been practicing law for 16 years. She also has 20 years of tax practice experience, holding a Certified Public Accountant license and having previously worked as a tax accountant in a large regional accounting firm.

When an IRS places a levy on you, above all else, you should make sure to make contact with the IRS as soon as possible. Overall, choosing an accountant or attorney to help you through this can help get a better outcome, reduce stress, and get quicker results. Which type of professional you choose should depend on the experience and expertise of that person. There are many accountants and attorneys who don’t deal regularly with IRS disputes. Some accountants only prepare tax returns.

There are also many types of attorneys who practice in all different areas of law. A qualified tax relief professional, whether a C.P.A. or tax attorney (or someone who is both), will be able to handle the complexities of dealing with the IRS and resolve your tax problems most efficiently so you can properly deal with the levy and move on with your life.

Stacy Caprio

Stacy Caprio

Stacy Caprio is a Financial Blogger at Fiscal Nerd

I recommend first consulting your accountant to get familiar with the tax details of the case and figure out if you are in the wrong or not and what lee-way you have in terms of reversing or fixing the matter without having to resort to legal means. If your accountant recommends you take it one step further and talk to an attorney for the next steps, you can do so then.

Ron Auerbach, MBA

Ron Auerbach is an author of “Think Like an Interviewer: Your Job Hunting Guide to Success”. He has a degree in human resources, economics, finance, and accounting. He is an educator who has taught subjects from A to Z in the public schools and at the college level, including accounting.

A tax attorney would be an appropriate person to go to on this matter–somebody who is trained and skilled in taxation and dealing with regulators, like the IRS. FYI, there are many accountants who also have law degrees. I’ve taught at places where some of the accounting professors were also lawyers.

So law and accounting do fit together. And there are accounting professionals with legal training, plus lawyers who have accounting knowledge and training. But I would say that your first move should be to consult with a tax attorney. Your accountant might be qualified or able to recommend one if you don’t know to whom to turn.