Forced Collection Actions
Forced collection actions are statutorily required to enforce collection of tax debts, and may include some or all of the following actions:
- Filing a Notice of Lien
- Serving a Notice of Levy
- Seizing assets (personal or business property, real estate) and selling them at auction
A lien is a claim used to secure the state's interest to a tax debt. Before the Tax Commission can file a Notice of Lien:
- We must assess the tax or the tax must be self-assessed by the taxpayer (e.g., filing a return without fully paying)
- We must send you a Notice and Demand for payment
- You must neglect to or refuse to pay the tax or otherwise resolve your tax debt
When a lien is filed, it's recorded at the Secretary of State's office for the amount of your tax debt (including applicable penalty and interest). The lien attaches to all your property (e.g., house or car) and to all your rights to property (e.g., bank accounts and earnings).
By filing a Notice of Lien, the Tax Commission is providing a public notice to your creditors that the state has a claim against all your property, including property you acquire after the lien was filed.
Note: Once filed, a lien will harm your credit rating and will continue to appear on your credit report for up to seven years, even after it's paid in full.
You can read more on our Liens page.
A levy means that we can, by law, take property to satisfy a tax debt. A levy can be made on property that is yours, but is held by third parties, such as wages or funds at your financial institution.
Some examples of what the Tax Commission can seize are: wages, salary, commissions, franchises, securities, contracts, demand notes, accounts receivable, rental income, or dividends.
If we levy your salary or wages, contact the person listed on the Notice of Levy for assistance or call the phone number on the notice. The Notice of Levy is sent to you at your last known address.
Levy action isn't taken until all reasonable efforts have been made to contact you and allow for voluntary resolution of your debt.
Under the authority of Idaho Code section 63-3059, the Tax Commission doesn't need court authorization to take levy action.
If the Tax Commission levies your salary, wages, or other assets, the levy will end when…
- You pay your tax debt in full, or
- The time expires for legally collecting the tax
Seizures and sales
If you don't pay or make arrangements to resolve your tax debt, we may seize and sell any type of real or personal property that you own or have an interest in to satisfy your tax bill. This can include both residential and business property.
After we seize your property, we're required to give public notice of a pending sale in the county where the sale will be held. The sale may also be listed on the ISTCsales.idaho.gov website. We'll deliver the original notice of sale to you by mail. After we give notice, we must wait at least 10 days before conducting the sale.
Before the date of the sale, we may release the seized property if you pay the amount of the state's interest in the property.
You should contact the Tax Commission employee handling your collection case as soon as your property is seized.