New Numbers on I.R.S. Liens, Levies, and Seizures

Step right up folks — you won’t want to miss this exciting new attraction — direct to your computer screen from the wilds of deepest Washington, D.C. — it’s the Internal Revenue Service Data Book !

<frog class="kermit"> Yaaaaaaaay! </frog>

I’m going to try to find something interesting in its 84 pages of statistics. Here goes:

Each year, people like myself file their tax returns but don’t include enough payment to cover the assessed tax, penalties, and interest. Here’s how much overdue tax, penalties, and interest have been assessed in each of the past few years (this doesn’t include the interest and penalties that continue to accrue on past-due accounts):


The IRS collected almost $41 billion (59%) of this (but this amount does include accrued interest and penalties, so there’s an apples and oranges aspect to this comparison) — $1.7 billion of this through their new program of outsourcing some cases to private debt collection agencies. Of the total that was collected, taxpayers sent in $15 billion (37%) in response to the first nastygram from the IRS, and another $13 billion (33%) in response to the second nastygram. The last $12 billion (30%) was recovered through “taxpayer delinquent accounts and additional actions.”

Liens, levies and seizures are all up over recent years:


Oh, there’s more… but I’ve got my boredom threshold too.

Link dump time: