Skip to main content

Can the IRS seize a property from me if it is co-owned by a sibling?

Austin, TX |

I own half/50% of a condo -- currently being rented out -- with my brother. If the IRS decides to levy my properties and assets, can they be completely seized if they are co-owned by a non-spouse?

+ Read More

Attorney answers 3

Posted

You should meet with a tax attorney as soon as you can. The innocent person would need to file an innocent owner claim if the IRS acted against the property. The innocent person should seek legal counsel as well.

Bobby Barina's answer to a legal question on Avvo does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Mr. Barina offers everyone a free consultation to discuss their case. Feel free to call his office at 254-699-3755 to make an appointment or visit his website at www.bobbybarina.com for more information about his services.

Bruce Givner

Bruce Givner

Posted

Mr. Barina is correct.

Posted

The IRS manual states:

Serve a levy only when there is reason to believe the third party is holding the taxpayer's property.

If the taxpayer owns property with a person not liable for the tax, consider using another source.

Any property in which the taxpayer has an interest is subject to levy, even if the property is jointly owned with another person (e.g., community property, jointly owned bank accounts). However, because wrongful levy suits and claims can result from such levies, consider levying on another available source.

If you find an answer helpful please mark it as such or as the Best Answer. You have asked us to state an opinion based upon stated facts. You have not provided us with any documents, pictures, witness statements or other admissible evidence. The opinions stated are based upon general principles of law unless otherwise stated, which may or may not be applicable in your jurisdiction. Controlling law is also subject to change or reversal at any time. Any such changes may be retroactive and could significantly modify the statements and opinions expressed herein. Similarly, any change in the facts and assumptions upon which this opinion is based could modify the conclusions. We opine only as to matters expressly set forth, no opinions should be inferred as to other matters or to treatment of matters not specifically addressed. This opinion represents our best judgment as to the probable outcome of the issues discussed and is not binding on the courts or upon your adversaries. We can give no assurance that an adversary would not challenge our conclusions and prevail in the courts in a manner to cause adverse consequences. With respect to some of the matters discussed in the opinion, existing legal precedent may provide very little legal guidance. Although the opinions and views expressed are based on our best interpretations of existing law and what we believe a court would probably conclude if presented with the applicable issues, we can give no assurance that our interpretations would be followed if the issues became the subject of judicial or administrative proceedings. Realization of certain benefits described is subject to the risk that someone may challenge the treatment and that a court may sustain the challenge. Because you may bear the burden of proof required to establish a fact, the opinions expressed assume the you will undertake the effort and expense to present fully the case in support of any matter that you have asserted and an opponent might challenge. None of the advice provided here may be used to avoid tax liability, interest or penalties. If you want that level of assurance you will need employ us to perform the due diligence necessary to explore the facts and law applicable to your specific circumstances. I provide answers here to allow people to see the issue spotting, solution proposals, style of communication and analysis I may apply to factual statements.

Bruce Givner

Bruce Givner

Posted

Mr. Walker is correct.

Posted

It is rare that the IRS will seize real estate. You really need to be totally ignoring them and owe a lot of money (at least $100,000). But, in those rare cases, they would not take your co-owner's equity. They cannot. So, if they attempted to seize the real estate and sell it, they would only be entitled to your 50%.

What you should do is get some professional advice on how to deal with your IRS problem.

Marty Davidoff, emd@taxattorneycpa.com, 732-274-1600. This answer is provided for general information only. You should seek advice from an attorney or tax professional.

Bruce Givner

Bruce Givner

Posted

Mr. Davidoff is always correct.