The Internal Revenue Service is one of the most aggressive creditors that some individuals will face. This is because the government entity has very harsh penalties that it can use for individuals who don’t pay their income taxes as they should. The easiest way to avoid having to go through the IRS collections process is to make paying your federal taxes a budget priority.

If you don’t pay the IRS the money that’s due to it, you do have several options for taking care of things. One course of action that you shouldn’t ever take is to try to ignore the fact that you owe the agency money. Not doing anything means that you’re at risk for the IRS placing a lien on your property. In some cases, they will also use a levy to settle the debt.

A lien is attached to your property to secure the government’s interests in it. A lien can be placed on current and future assets, including real estate, vehicles, securities and any other assets you own.

A levy isn’t the same thing as a lien. A levy is what the IRS issues to take the property from you. Once the levy is issued, the property is seized and liquidated to pay off the debt you have to the agency.

If you’re facing collection attempts from the IRS, you need to get things corrected before a lien is filed. Working with a tax attorney who is familiar with the options might be beneficial since you can determine what plan to follow to address the matter.