What Is a Notice of Seizure?

A notice of seizure is a written notice from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to inform either an individual taxpayer or business that the government has seized its property.

Also known as form 2433, a Notice of Seizure states that, under the authority in section 6331 of the Internal Revenue Code, and by virtue of a levy from the Area Director of Internal Revenue, the IRS has seized property for nonpayment of past-due internal revenue taxes. 

The document will list from what date the taxes are past-due, the amount that was due, and the taxpayers' Internal Revenue Area and Territory. A notice of seizure will describe what property was seized and will show the name and signature of the Revenue Officer, making the seizure. 

Understanding Notice of Seizure

A notice of seizure is the final document the government must produce in the process of seizing property for nonpayment of federal taxes. The Internal Revenue Service will initiate this process by sending a “Notice of Demand for Payment,” which indicates to a taxpayer that they owe the federal government money. 

If the taxpayer ignores the Notice of Demand for Payment or fails to pay the debt in full, the IRS will ultimately send a letter indicating its intent to levy the individual taxpayer or business’s assets. The intent to levy is indicated in a variety of forms, depending on the taxpayer’s situation. For instance, if the delinquent taxpayer has a significant state income tax refund, the IRS might send a form CP 504, which indicates the government’s intent to levy against the state refund in order to make itself whole.

Notice of Seizure in the Seizure Process

A CP90 notice is a final notice of the intent to levy, which indicates that a seizure is imminent. CP90 is a formal notice that the IRS has the right to seize your assets unless you take action within 30 days to pay what you owe, or request a payment plan if you cannot pay. At this point, all of your assets are at risk, from real estate to bank accounts to retirement savings or other investment vehicles. If you disagree with the notice, you can request a collection due process hearing, and even appeal that decision if needed.

When the IRS does ultimately seize a taxpayer or business's assets, it is required to leave a copy of the Notice of Seizure at the site of the seizure, and it is also required to mail copies by regular and certified mail to the relevant individual’s last known address and workplace.