Now in 2020, IRS promises more liens, more levies,
In the language of the IRS, “enforcement” aggressive action to collect unpaid back taxes. This includes the collection or enforcement tools that are so disruptive to life and business: Notices of Federal Tax Liens, which can make getting any kind of loan impossible, prevent buying or selling of property, damage credit, bank levies (“freeze and seize”), wage levies, social security levies (the IRS can seize 15% of one’s social security benefits, third party contacts (contacting the customers of a business). What’s coming is more audits, more liens, more levies.
In this context, in an address to a roomful of CPA’s, the new Commissioner of the IRS, on Charles “Chuck” Rettig described himself as “an enforcement guy” who is “passionate about making sure we enforce tax laws.”
Congress, for the first time in a decade has authorized a funding increase for the IRS. The Commissioner has already hired more than 1,000 new Revenue Officers (IRS Collection Agents) and Revenue Agents (Auditors). So even though the IRS is a leaner agency than in 2010, when there were approximately 90,000 employees at the IRS, and there are now approximately 70,000, there is both a commitment from the top to chase down taxpayers with issues and a greater workforce to carry that commitment out.
Also, IRS statistics for the 2018 (the most recent year available) show that for the first time in almost a decade, levies increased by 8%, and this is before the new Commissioner, the self-described “enforcement guy” was appointed.
So, for those taxpayers who have been flying under the radar, 2020 may be the year you get that unwanted letter from the IRS.