The I.R.S. Is Too Late to Seize My Bank Account

I got another letter from the IRS . This is the letter that ought to be preceded by a drum roll and delivered with the sound of a falling guillotine blade. It’s not supposed to be followed by a laugh track, but in this case it is. Read on.

The letter is a Form 8519: “Taxpayer’s Copy of Notice of Levy.” If they followed procedure, they sent this notice out to me soon after they filed a similar notice (a 668-A) with Wells Fargo Bank, which holds the account from which they intend to seize my money. Wells Fargo, in turn, is supposed to turn over the amount of the levy to the IRS 21 days after receiving this notice.

“No withdrawals may be made on levied upon deposits during the 21-day holding period,” so I can’t just pull my money out of the account now so as to foil the levy.

They’ve figured the total with interest and penalties out to , and they’re after $5,603.06 all told.

Here’s the gigglicious part: I’ve had this bank account . It was my first checking account. But I started to get annoyed with Wells Fargo because they keep changing their rules around in an effort to stick me with a monthly fee, and because their account features aren’t much to get excited about in this day and age. I mostly like ’em because they have ATMs all over the place in San Francisco.

Several days ago I decided I was going to switch to another bank, and began making the switch — transferring out my remaining balance, changing any automatic deposits and withdrawals, etc.

To make a long story short: Last I checked, I have a total of $5.16 left on deposit at Wells Fargo.

I’m sure they won’t just give up when they discover that their first attempt to seize my assets got them pocket change. They’ll hunt down something else with my social security number attached to it and try to gobble it up as well. But I still think it’s funny.

I imagine that I would not be laughing so hard if I had written any checks on this account that hadn’t cleared yet — that would be expensive and embarrassing. There are some additional risks like these that come from playing chicken with the IRS. Wells Fargo may also try to hit me with some sort of fee for putting up with the IRS paperwork. I’ll keep you posted. Periodically, I plan to tally up these sorts of costs along with the penalties & interest as a way of trying to assess the worth of this method of tax resistance.