The IRS is not using collection tools, including tax liens, levies and property seizures, soon enough in many instances, according to a new report from a Treasury Department watchdog.

The report, from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, found that the IRS’s collection function did not use these tools at all, or did not use them soon enough, in 15 of the 70 cases reviewed by TIGTA auditors. “Lien, levy or seizure actions should have been pursued when taxpayers missed specific deadlines or did not respond to letters or messages for the taxpayers to contact the revenue officers,” said TIGTA. Specifically, the TIGTA auditors found that liens should have been filed in four of the cases reviewed, levies should have been issued earlier in nine of the cases, and seizure consideration would have been appropriate in five of the cases reviewed. The report estimates that collection enforcement tools were not used, or were not used soon enough, in approximately 4,250 taxpayer cases in fiscal year 2008.

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