Social Security vs. the IRS, what you should know

So, I’m not sure how “I.T.” or “information technology” related this post is…but it’s information anyway. I have one non-technical blog subscription I get in my inbox, and it’s from TIGTA which stands for “TREASURY INSPECTOR GENERAL FOR TAX ADMINISTRATION”. In other words, they monitor the IRS’s actions. This email I got today is related to this article on the IRS …levying individual’s Social Security benefits, and I found it very informative…enough to share with whatever small portion of the public actually reads my posts anyway. If you want to download the entire report for your own benefit/resources, you can get it here: Report Reference Number: 2016-30-043  It is titled “Revenue Officer Levies of Social Security Benefits Indicate That Further Modification to Procedures Is Warranted”

The report found that “While most Internal Revenue Service (IRS) revenue officers follow the law when issuing levies on taxpayers, some took levy action on Social Security recipients that likely caused or exacerbated economic hardship”1

Apparently, “in 15 percent of the audit’s sample, TIGTA found that revenue officers took levy action on Social Security recipients that likely caused or exacerbated economic hardship.  These levies may be due in part to a change in collection policies that appears to give equal weight to nonlegal considerations and the legal requirement to release the levy when the IRS determines that the levy is creating an economic hardship for the taxpayer.”1

“Additionally, while existing procedures allow revenue officers to manually levy up to 100 percent of Social Security benefits, taxpayers have the right to claim an exemption from the levy.  However, in 28 percent of the sampled cases, revenue officers used the wrong form to levy Social Security benefits.  As a result, the IRS did not consider exemption amounts before establishing the levy.  Of these cases, 6 percent involved taxpayers who suffered greater Social Security levies than allowed by law.”1

  1. quoted text taken from an email received from TIGTA, and may likely also reflect text in the online report, although I haven’t read that one directly, and any apparent plagiarism is pure coincidence. However, if you believe you own this content, and want it removed, just contact me from the contact page, and I will remove the post.

Leave a Reply