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Social Security Benefits Eligible for the Federal Payment Levy Program

Through the Federal Payment Levy Program (FPLP), Social Security benefit payments outlined in Title II of the Social Security Act, Federal Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance Benefits, are subject to the 15-percent levy, to pay your delinquent tax debt.

However, benefit payments, such as lump sum death benefits and benefits paid to children, are not included in the FPLP. Additionally, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments, under Title XVI, and payments with partial withholding to repay a debt owed to Social Security are not levied through the FPLP.  Beginning February 2011, the FPLP may exclude certain delinquent taxpayers who receive social security payments if their income falls at or below certain established levels, based on the Department of Health and Human Services poverty guidelines.

Before your Social Security benefits are included in the FPLP, we will send you a final notice of our intent to levy, with appeal rights, if one has not already been issued. If we don't hear from you, or if you have already received this notice, we will send you an additional notice CP 91 or CP 298, Final Notice Before Levy on Social Security Benefits, explaining that your Social Security benefits may be levied. See Tax Information for Appeals for additional information about your appeal rights.

You have 30 days from the date of this notice to make arrangements to pay your tax debt before we begin deducting 15 percent from your monthly benefit. See   Publication 594, The IRS Collection Process, and Publication 1, Your Rights as a Taxpayer, for additional information.

Because the FPLP is used to satisfy tax debts, the IRS may levy your Social Security benefits regardless of the amount. This is different from the 1996 Debt Collection Improvement Act which states that the first $750 of monthly Social Security benefits is off limits to satisfy non-tax debts. Fifteen percent of the Social Security benefit will be levied through the FPLP regardless of whether or not the remaining benefit sent to you is less than $750.

Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 15-Jan-2014