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How Do I Get a Levy Released?


Contact the IRS immediately to resolve your tax liability and request a levy release. The IRS can also release a levy if it determines that the levy is causing an immediate economic hardship. If the IRS denies your request to release the levy, you may appeal this decision. You may appeal before or after the IRS places a levy on your wages, bank account, or other property. After the levy proceeds have been sent to the IRS, you may file a claim to have them returned to you. You may also appeal the denial by the IRS of your request to have levied property returned to you. For a full explanation of your appeal rights, see Publication 1660, Collection Appeal Rights (PDF).

The IRS is required to release a levy if it determines that:

  • You paid the amount you owe,
  • The period for collection ended prior to the levy being issued,
  • Releasing the levy will help you pay your taxes,
  • You enter into an Installment Agreement and the terms of the agreement don’t allow for the levy to continue,
  • The levy creates an economic hardship, meaning the IRS has determined the levy prevents you from meeting basic, reasonable living expenses, or
  • The value of the property is more than the amount owed and releasing the levy will not hinder our ability to collect the amount owed.

Please note: The release of a levy does not mean you don’t have to pay the balance due. You must still make arrangements with the IRS to resolve your tax debt or a levy may be reissued.

For more information, see Publication 594, The IRS Collection Process (PDF).

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Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 11-Jul-2016