The Treasury Department’s Inspector General for Tax Administration found errors and legal violations in nearly half the IRS taxpayer property seizures it studied for a new report.

A review of a random sample of 50 of the 610 seizures conducted by the IRS between July 1, 2007, and June 30, 2008, found that the IRS usually complied with the numerous legal and internal guidelines when conducting the majority of seizures. However, in 23 of the 50 seizures studied, there were 26 instances in which the IRS did not comply with a particular Tax Code requirement. Because there can be numerous statutory violations in each case, TIGTA acknowledged that the 26 instances represent an error rate of only about 1.5 percent. The inspectors did not identify any instances in which the taxpayers were adversely affected, but TIGTA noted that not following legal and internal guidelines could result in abuses of taxpayer rights.

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