An IRS levy is the actual action taken by the IRS to collect taxes. For example, the IRS can issue a bank levy to obtain your cash in savings and checking accounts. The IRS can also garnish your wages or accounts receivable.
The person, company, or institution served with the levy must comply or face their own IRS problems. This person, company or institution is faced with additional paperwork in order to comply with the levy. This additional paperwork usually results in considerable strain on the relationship with the taxpayer being levied.
Levies should be avoided at all costs and are usually the result of poor or no communication with the IRS.
When the IRS levies a bank account, the levy is only for the particular day the levy is received by the bank. The bank is required to remove whatever amount is available in your account that day (up to the amount of the IRS levy) and send it to the IRS within 21 days, unless notified otherwise by the IRS. This type of levy does not affect any future deposits made into your bank account, unless the IRS issues another bank account levy.
An IRS wage garnishment is different. Wage garnishments are filed with your employer and remain in effect until the IRS notifies the employer that the wage garnishment has been released. Most wage garnishments take so much money from the taxpayer’s paycheck, the taxpayer can barely survive.