IRS Seized Properties

TIGTA reviews IRS methodology for selling seized property [Audit Report No. 2008-30-144]:

IRS management needs to provide better oversight to ensure that employees consistently follow the requisite procedures for the storage and sale of seized property, according to a recent audit by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA).

As described in the audit, when a taxpayer owes delinquent tax and thorough consideration has been given to all aspects of the case and alternative collection methods, IRS can seize taxpayer property for payment of the tax. The seized property can be sold by public auction or by public sale under sealed bids.

In fiscal year 2007, 309 (or 46%) of the 676 seizures went to sale, with the proceeds amounting to $20.7 million. TIGTA based its conclusions on a review of a judgmental sample of 32 completed sales of seized property. “If procedures are not followed, theft, vandalism, and violations of taxpayer rights can occur, although we did not find any such instances in this review,” TIGTA said.

The audit can be found at

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