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Published: December 9, 2014   |   Last Updated: September 23, 2020

TAS Helps Taxpayer Get Levy Released

Every year, the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) helps thousands of people with tax problems. This story is only one of many examples of how TAS helps resolve taxpayer’s tax issues. All personal details are removed to protect the taxpayer’s privacy.


A local TAS office received a frantic call from taxpayer who had just been notified the IRS had levied on his wages. The IRS told the taxpayer he needed to submit unfiled tax returns for two years before it would release the levy. TAS researched the account and discovered that if the IRS levied, the taxpayer would experience economic hardship, because he could not meet his basic reasonable living expenses.

TAS also learned the taxpayer had no income for one year and had filed an extension of time to file for the second year so the return wasn’t due yet.

TAS asked the IRS to release the levy the same day the taxpayer called, citing the recent court case, Vinatieri v. Commissioner, for the proposition that if economic hardship is present, a levy must be released even if the taxpayer has not filed all required returns. By the end of that day, the IRS released the levy.

If you need information on a specific tax topic, visit the TAS Get Help resource. It offers a step-by step guide on what you can do to settle some IRS issues on your own, what your taxpayer rights are and other options available to help you get resolution. Most issues can be resolved directly by working with the IRS. However, if you have tried, but are still unable to resolve an IRS issue, learn more about whether TAS can help you: TAS eligibility.

When working with the Taxpayer Advocate Service, each individual or business taxpayer is assigned to an advocate who listens to the problem and helps the taxpayer understand what needs to be done to resolve their tax issue. TAS advocates will do everything they can to help taxpayers and work with them every step of the way. Occasionally we feature stories of taxpayers and advocates who work together to resolve complex tax issues. Read more TAS success stories.