The Internal Revenue Service now requires higher level staff to approve seizures of property for nonpayment of federal taxes.
According to information release 97-46, all proposed seizures must be approved by an IRS district collection division chief. In addition, district directors must approve all seizures that involve a taxpayers residence, its contents or perishable goods. Before this announcement, an IRS group manager could approve most seizures; district directors had to approve principal residence seizures.
IRS Commissioner Charles O. Rossotti said the higher level of approval for seizures was a step to ensure that such collection tools were used only in appropriate cases. Senate Finance Committee Chairman William V. Roth, Jr. (R-Del.), lauded the change in seizure policy and said the same safeguards should be used for IRS liens and levies. This procedural change will give taxpayers some safeguards until we have the new IRS restructuring bill approved, said Roth.