Can the IRS Do That?


Ever wondered if the IRS has the authority to take your paycheck, get your financial information or call you directly? The IRS can legally do many of these things, to promote compliance and collect taxes.

But nothing should happen without warning. In general, the IRS has to notify you with a letter before it takes any of these actions.

Here are some common questions about what the IRS can do, what happens before and after the IRS acts, and what you should do to resolve the problem.

Can the IRS take or hold my refund? Yes.

Can the IRS take my paycheck? The short answer: Yes

Can the IRS file a return for me? Yes, but it’s not pleasant.

Can the IRS seize my property? Yes.

Can the IRS Visit Me at My Home or Business? Yes, but It Doesn’t Happen Much.

Can the IRS call me? Technically, yes, But it’s rare.

Can the IRS settle my taxes for less than what I owe? Yes – if your circumstances fit.

Can the IRS take my passport? Indirectly, yes.

Can the IRS get my bank account and financial information? The short answer: Yes.

Get help from an IRS expert

H&R Block’s experts can solve any IRS problem, no matter how complex.

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