Can the IRS Make You Homeless?

Is it possible for the IRS to take your home and leave you homeless? While it might sound extreme, the IRS does have the power to seize assets, including your primary residence, to collect unpaid taxes. This blog post will shed light on the IRS’s ability to seize homes and what you can do to protect yourself.

If you’re facing tax issues and need help, it’s essential to seek guidance from someone qualified to help with tax matters. At Tax Relief Counsel, we can help you understand your options and navigate IRS tax liens and levies.

Understanding IRS Tax Liens and Levies

The IRS has various tools at its disposal for collecting unpaid taxes. Two of the most significant tools are tax liens and tax levies.

Tax Lien

A tax lien is a legal claim on your property for unpaid taxes. This means the IRS has a claim on your assets, including your home until the tax debt is paid. It doesn’t automatically mean the IRS will take your home. However, it does make it harder to sell or refinance your property.

Tax Lien

Tax Levy

A tax levy is the actual seizure of your property to satisfy the tax debt. This is a more serious step taken by the IRS when taxpayers fail to pay their taxes or comply with payment arrangements.

In another blog post, you can learn more about the difference between a tax lien and a tax levy.

Can the IRS Seize Your Primary Residence?

Yes, the IRS can seize your home to satisfy a tax debt. The IRS can take your house if:

  • You Owe a Significant Amount of Unpaid Taxes: The IRS typically focuses on large tax debts when making seizure a possibility.
  • You Fail to Cooperate with the IRS in Payment Arrangements: If you don’t respond to the IRS or fail to make agreed-upon payments, they may consider seizure.
  • You Have Not Filed Tax Returns or Paid Taxes for Several Years: The IRS can take action against taxpayers who consistently avoid their tax obligations.

However, it’s important to note that not all homes are vulnerable to IRS seizure. The homestead exemption protects some homeowners from IRS seizure, but it varies by state.

Can the IRS Seize Your House If You Have a Mortgage?

In most cases, the IRS takes priority over your mortgage lender. This means the IRS can take possession of your home, even if you have a mortgage on it.

The consequences of the IRS seizing your home with a mortgage can be severe. The lender may consider this a default on your loan, leading to legal action and a negative impact on your credit score.

Don't Let Tax Debt Threaten Your Home

Facing the IRS alone can be overwhelming and stressful. Our legal team can provide the support and guidance you need to protect your home. We can help you understand your rights, explore all available options, and work toward a resolution that safeguards your future.

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How to Protect Yourself from IRS Seizure

The best way to protect your home from IRS seizure is to pay your taxes on time. If you’re unable to pay your taxes, you can contact the IRS to explore payment options. They might offer payment plans, compromises, or other options.

If you’re overwhelmed by tax debt, consider seeking help from someone with experience in tax law who can help you explore solutions.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some of the IRS’s payment options for tax debt?

The IRS offers several options to help taxpayers manage their tax debt, including:

  • Payment Plans: You can set up a short-term or long-term payment plan with the IRS.
  • Offers in Compromise (OIC): An OIC allows taxpayers to settle their tax debt for a lower amount than what they originally owed.
  • Penalty Abatement: The IRS may waive penalties if you have a valid reason for not paying your taxes on time.

If you’re having difficulty paying what you owe, don’t panic. A tax professional can help you decide which option is right for you and get you on the path to financial stability.

What should I do if the IRS contacts me about unpaid taxes?

Don’t ignore the IRS! If they contact you, it’s best to respond immediately. The IRS is more likely to work with taxpayers who are cooperative and attempt to resolve their tax issues.

Can I protect my assets other than my home from IRS seizure?

While the IRS can seize certain assets, some assets are protected under law. These include retirement funds, certain types of life insurance, and some government benefits.

Seeking Help and Resources

Don’t let tax debt threaten your financial health. Taking proactive steps to manage your tax obligations is essential. Schedule your free consultation with our lawyer at Tax Relief Counsel, and let’s discuss how we can protect your home and your future.

Ramy Shabana

Ramy Shabana


Ramy Shabana, an award-winning attorney, is renowned for his expertise in tax law. Recognized as a “Top Lawyer” by Hour Detroit Magazine, he is a trusted authority in navigating complex tax challenges for individuals and businesses. With a focus on both domestic and international tax law, Ramy offers unparalleled guidance in audits, collections, and international tax complexities.

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