What Happens If You Owe Over $50,000 to the IRS?

Clip art of a man with a money bag running from a big arm labeled "tax"

Taxpayers who owe the IRS over $50,000 may have to deal with tax liens, tax levies, and IRS passport actions.  There are many tax resolution options that can be used to protect your property and get the IRS off your back.

Key Insights We Will Discuss:

  1.  Collection actions the IRS can take if you owe over $50,000 in back taxes.
  2. Your options for resolving your tax problems.
  3. Which tax resolution strategies may be a good fit for your situation.

IRS Collection Actions

The IRS begins its collection process by sending you a bill demanding payment.  If you don’t respond or pay your bill, you will generally receive several more notices before the IRS starts taking enforced collection actions.

Enforced collection actions can take many forms, including the following:

Notice of Federal Tax Lien

A federal tax lien can be filed  in public records, such as your country’s real property records.  This can make it difficult to refinance, sell or borrow against your home.

Bank Levies

The IRS can seize all of your bank account funds up to the amount you owe.  If you have $50,000 in the account, the IRS can take all of it with a single bank account levy.

IRS Wage Garnishments

A wage garnishment can only take a portion of your paycheck.  However, wage garnishments are continuous levies, so the IRS can continue taking money out of every paycheck until your full balance is paid.  If you owe over $50,000 you could be having your wages seized for months or even years to pay off your tax debt.

Passport Revocation or Denial

If you owe over $52,000, the IRS my certify your tax debt to the State Department.  This could result in a denial of your passport application or a revocation of your current passport.

Resolving Your Tax Debt

Your best tax resolution option will depend on the specific facts of your case.  Your financial situation will be a key factor as well because the IRS will want to know how much you can afford to pay.

If you can make monthly payments, an IRS installment agreement may be the best choice.  A variety of payment plans are available that can be tailored to accommodate your budget.

If you are in a tight spot – financially speaking – you may be eligible for an Offer in Compromise.  This allows you to permanently settle your tax debt for less than you owe.

Other tax resolution options may also be a good fit for your situation, so contact a tax debt attorney to discuss your ideal tax resolution strategy.

Contact a Tax Resolution Attorney

To get help with IRS tax debt, call the experienced tax attorneys at Ayar Law at 800.571.7175 to receive free, no-obligation tax advice.

Executive Summary:

Taxpayers who over $50,000 may be at risk for enforced collection actions, including tax liens, tax levies, wage garnishments, or passport revocations/denials.  You may avoid some or all of these consequences by negotiating a deal with the IRS to pay or settle your tax debt.  Contact the attorneys at Ayar Law for free, no-obligation advice about your tax issue. 800.571.7175


Venar Ayar, Esq.

Venar Ayar, Esq.

Attorney-at-Law, Master of Laws in Taxation
Principal and founder, Ayar Law

Venar is an award-winning tax attorney ranked as a Top Lawyer in the field of Tax Law. Mr. Ayar has a Master of Laws in Taxation – the highest degree available in tax, held by only a small number of the country’s attorneys.