I want to tell the story about how I came up with what has proven to be a viable process to remove IRS liens and levies.
I discovered what amounts to a needle in a haystack. I found somebody in the IRS that is motivated to take some action on your behalf. You can send your legal argument to this person respecting why the IRS should remove your lien or levy and he will do something more with it than just put it in the file like some administrative assistant.
In about 1990 the Creator of the universe instructed me to get a computer and learn how to use it and start studying law full time. I estimate for 10 years I studied law about 40 hours a week. I also attended a weekly law meeting I discovered. Somebody who came to those meetings on a regular basis approached me. He was an older man. He asked me if I would help him get a levy off his significant other’s retirement pay.
I researched his project for several months. I read many cases where people tried to sue the IRS under all kinds of different theories. They tried to sue them under Bivens v. Six Unknown Federal Narcotics Agents. They tried to sue them under 42 USC §1983 for civil rights violations many other kinds of tactics. The courts were just bouncing them left and right.
In one of the decisions I read the judge saying in his opinion, your remedy is in 26 USC § 7433 and 26 USC § 7432. I looked those statutes up. In 1988 the United States waived sovereign immunity in 26 USC § 7433 and made it possible for someone to sue the U. S. when IRS agents fail to follow the statues or the regulations while they are involved in tax collection activity. Section 7432 made it possible to sue when the IRS refuses to remove a lien that is legally unenforceable.
I looked up all the cases that cited to that statute. I read through those and almost all of them were losses. The primary reason they were losing is that in order to get the Waiver of Sovereign Immunity, first, a letter must be sent to them noticing them of your intent to sue.
I went to work on the letter for this man. Pretty soon I had a ten page double spaced letter that laid out the different reasons why it was illegal for them to levy this retired teacher’s pay and noticing them according to the regulation why she would be suing them.
My law buddy finally got around to sending in the letter.
One day, just in passing, he says, “Oh, by the way. That letter that you wrote worked. " I said, “Really?" He says, “Yeah. " He says, “In fact, it worked twice. " He says, “They released the one on her retirement pay, and then they had threatened to levy on a different year on the retirement pay as well, and they never executed on that levy. "
I put the statute, the regulation, the 38 cases (now 56 cases) along with the first letter I wrote into a package and called it the Calling Off the Dogs Package. I call it the Calling Off the Dogs Package because the Technical Compliance Officer has the authority to call off the dogs (The dogs would be the IRS collections people).
Some have noticed that all of these cases on their surface are losers. There is a scripture in Proverbs, Chapter 21, Verse 11 that says, “Men of righteous wisdom and good sense learn by being instructed. " The reason any one would read those cases is to find out what the other people did wrong so that the same mistakes are not repeated.
Let us talk about what it is that is motivating this Technical Compliance Officer. Why does he want to do something for someone that sends him a letter under this procedure? I think there are a number of reasons. The federal courts are overloaded and the U. S. Attorney’s office is overloaded.
A federal judge might have, who knows, 7,000 cases going at once. One study showed that in the United States they need 500 more Federal courts to handle the case load.
If you file a suit against the United States for something the IRS did, it is going to be the U. S. attorneys that are going to defend them. I do not care that it is the United States; the U. S. Attorneys have all the litigation that they can handle.
When officials feel personally uncomfortable, they use their official capacity to make themselves feel better. I believe that Congressmen and Senators feel uncomfortable when their constituency shows up at their office complaining about the IRS. What they did is pass these laws so that people have somewhere to complain besides their offices.
Here comes your credible threat to sue in the form of a letter. The Technical Compliance Officer reads down through it and asks himself, what would make more sense, have a lawsuit, or do something for this person? The next thing you find is that they release the lien or levy.
I’ve been selling this Calling Off the Dogs Package, and also suits to remove unlawful liens for something like eight years now. In eight years - maybe it’s longer than eight years - I have never had anyone contact me back and, one, say you know what? What you sold me was a rip off. Or two, I’ve never had anyone contact me back and say what you sold me didn’t work.
I have another story. This older man contacts me. He wants to know about the removing levies package. He is retired and the IRS is levying his Social Security. He decides to get the package. The next thing that happens is I get a barrage of emails from this man that are full of questions related to his inability to look up the statutes and regulations that I quoted in the letter I wrote that comes with the package because he can’t find them. He sends me emails that say things like, “I can’t find that statute; I can’t find that regulation. I can’t-. " What his emails are telling me is that this man does not know how to do legal research.
We had kind of become friends, and so we had a number of conversations about different topics over the phone. We both enjoy studying the scriptures.
We are talking on the phone one day, and just in passing he says, “Oh, by the way, ever since I sent that letter in, I’ve been getting a full Social Security check. " He just told me that in passing. I guess people just expect that what they ordered is going to work and when it does, then they go, “That’s what it’s supposed to do. "
The letter I wrote that comes with the package is nothing more than a sample. That letter is not a boilerplate. Do not put your name on the top of that letter and send it in, because some of it only applies to retired teachers. You need to write your own, individual, personalized letter.
There are people who have seen the first letter I wrote, and they go, “Man, those arguments are weak. The IRS addresses some of those on their web page and calls them frivolous. " I have had a couple people say that to me. I reply back, “You know what? You need to call up that Special Operations Officer and tell him that he made a mistake. "
This package is not me telling you what the perfect argument is to get every lien and levy removed. This package starts with the assumption that you have been doing research; that you have been studying; and that you know some error or some mistake that they made where they failed to follow the regulation or the statute; or, they wrongly interpreted the statute or the reg. Everybody that is going to read this is going to have some thought about why what the IRS did is illegal. All you would have to do is put those reasons in the letter threatening to sue and send it to the place specified in the statutes and regulations.
This package is a delivery system. It is a bow and it is an arrow. You take your arguments, put them on the tip of it in the form of a letter, a notice of intent to sue, and you shoot it at that Technical Compliance Officer, the motivated target.
And if he wants to stop you from filing a law suit, then he’s going to figure out a way, a reason, to call up those IRS agents that are hassling you, and tell them, leave this person alone because they’re threatening to sue and we don’t need any more lawsuits.
The same principle works for liens, the important concept that is true for both liens and levies is that the Technical Compliance Officer wants to keep you from suing. If you have liens, then you are going to be using the 7432 process. You are going to have to shoot two arrows. First, you are going to have to shoot an arrow based on 26 USC 6325 and you are going to have to demand that they remove the lien and tell them why they have to remove it.
Secondly, they are going to refuse to remove the lien or, they are going to take no action. If they fail to take action after so many days, then, under §7432, you shoot an arrow with your notice of intent to sue at the Technical Compliance Officer and wait to see what he does. The concept is the same for both liens and levies; liens are a two-step process; levies are a one-step process.
You cannot say that the process does not work until you have filed suit.
Look at these seven collateral wins that I found in the case law in these research packages. These are all results that came after the suit was filed:
Mrs. Shaw received a refund of all the money collected, and the remaining tax liability was abated. Shaw v. U. S. , 20 F.3d 1982, Fifth Circuit.
The government dismissed the criminal action against the 7433 plaintiff. Fishburn v. Brown, Sixth Circuit, 1997.
The IRS returned a seized Cadillac. Washington v. U. S. , Ninth Circuit, 1992.
The propriety of the defendant’s (IRS/US) calculation of the plaintiff’s tax liability was resolved in the plaintiff’s favor in tax court. Templeman v. U. S. , First Circuit, 1994.
See, there is something that goes on that not everyone understands. One judge calls the other judge behind the scenes and says, hey, I have this case over here that is related to a case filed in your court, what do you want to do? What are you going to do on your side? Or whatever. They decide behind the scenes what is going to happen to your cases. Doing something like that does not violate the judicial code of ethics as far as I know. So, I think what happened was the 7433 court contacted that tax court and said, hey, do something for this guy so I can dismiss his suit and write in the dismissal that something just was done for the plaintiff.
An injunction restricting state court filings was vacated. Templeman v. U. S. , First Circuit, 1994.
Improperly levied funds were returned. Raymond v. U. S. , Sixth Circuit, 1993.
The government conceded that an assessment was erroneous and released its liens. Miller v. U. S. (N. D. Cal. 1992).
Another thing that you maybe did not know; the U. S. Attorney calls up the IRS and he says, we have this suit going on over here and you guys are making it a pain in the butt for me because I’m having to work extra hard because of this lawsuit that you created. Do something for these people. Then the government goes, oh, well, that assessment was erroneous and they release the liens.
To me, that is just amazing to find a published decision that goes against the IRS because they do not publish those. They usually find a way to keep that information from getting out.
Those are just collateral wins that were published in the case law. It is my position that there are hundreds of administrative wins; wins that we will never hear about; wins that never get published anywhere. Wins where the Technical Compliance Officer calls up the IRS agent and says we are going to be sued unless you do something for these people, and we want you to just release those liens because that is better than getting sued.
Now, we could do some FOIA Requests and we could and ask the IRS disclosure officer, how many of these were handled administratively and so forth? Suppose that we discovered that 50 percent that sent in a letter got a win just by sending a letter. I mean, wouldn’t you try it? Wouldn’t you send in a letter just hoping that you would be one in the 50 percent that got the win?
Now, suppose that we said okay, now let’s do an analysis of whoever won. We would then go from one to the next asking why this person won. Some may have won because they did not get notice. Others won because their assessment was invalid; or maybe they won because their particular IRS agent did this, that, or the other thing, and that is why they won.
Then, you would have to cross it over to yours and you go, well, can I win on that in mine? You might sit there and go, well, no, because my IRS agent did not do that.
Just analyze your own case. Compare what they did on your case with the statute and the regulation, and see where they have made errors. It is my position that they cannot ever get it right.
I want to discuss with you the issue of your own credibility. If you write a letter threatening to sue, and it looks like a clown wrote it then why would the Technical Compliance Officer do anything for you?
You have to write a credible letter. How are you going to do that? The way you are going to write a credible letter is to get my package of research on this, sit, and read all 56 cases. Read the statute and the regulation.
If you have liens to remove, to write a credible letter you would read the statute and the regulation for 6325. You would read the 10 cases that cite to 6325. You would read the statute and the regulation for 7432 and all the cases that have to do with §7432.
You read them so you do not make the same mistakes those people did because you do not want to be a loser like the cases preceding you. After you have read and studied those cases those words will come out in your letter and it will sound credible because what you studied will be coming out your word processor as you write your letter. You will not write things in your threat to sue that make the Technical Compliance Officer laugh. When the Technical Compliance Officer looks at your letter he will recognize your words and phrases as being those that came from those decisions, and he will think to himself, this is a person that can follow through on the suit. You need him thinking that you are actually going to sue. You can learn more about this process at http://www.irslienthumper.com.
Part of what my package includes is Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests that I call “Killer FOIAs. " You can read about these “Killer FOIAs" at the above web page.
If you go through this process, it should work and they should take off your liens and levies. If it does not work, what do you do?
I am convinced that there are two things to do. One is, write another letter under a different theory and send that in. On the other hand, you file suit. Only you can decide what your next step is. You are going to have to be led of the Spirit or you are going to have to make the decision yourself.
If you send another letter to the same Special Operations person, he may go, “Oh, this is another empty threat to sue. " On the other hand, he may go, “Wow, this one here is better than the other one and I don’t know why he didn’t send this first. " Maybe your second letter will work.
Your other option is to file suit. Maybe then, you will be one of those people that will get your 7433 or 7432 suit dismissed but, at the same time, you will be getting your levy or your lien released.
Or, maybe you’ll be one of these people that just really gets diligent and you’ll take it all the way to trial, and maybe it’s there that they’ll just give you damages for everything they have done to you.
It is likely that you will win while you are exhausting your administrative remedies.
My package of research is in digital format. You can save yourself time by ordering my package of research and the sample letter at my web page.
If your letter does not work and you want to file suit, then one of the things I would like to recommend that you do is go to http://www.legal-research-video.com and get my legal research video that many have called excellent. It shows you how to go into the library and find sample complaints organized by statute. It shows how to find formats and arguments for any step of filing and prosecuting a suit in Federal Court.
These same principles can work in a state situation, but it is a situation where the wheel needs to be reinvented for each state.
If you have some interest in pursuing relief from state tax lien or levy, I am available to help with tutoring, research and strategizing on ways to get rid of state levies and liens. You may write me at legalbearatlegalbears.com.
Barry Smith is a self-taught lawyer. He is a licensed attorney in the Commonwealth of Israel only. View his free online video about spiritual tactics for dealing with the IRS at http://www.irs-armory.com