If the IRS Can’t Recover, It Can’t Seize or Levy
Pursuant to Internal Revenue Code Sections 6331(f) and 6331(j)(2)(c), the IRS cannot seize property or levy unless doing so will result in money for it.
I recently represented a client who had some equity in a vacation home. The IRS Revenue Officer wanted the home but the quick sale equity in the home wasn't sufficient to guarantee that once realtors and costs of closing were paid, there would be anything left for the IRS. The client was also unable to obtain a home equity loan. Once the situation was made clear to the revenue officer, she backed down and accepted our payment arrangement proposal.
Many people with tax debt lay awake at night worrying about whether the car will be there in the morning, or whether the little bit of money in the bank account will be there to buy groceries.
If you have assets, bank accounts, etc. and the IRS is actively searching for a way to get paid, look closely at what those assets and accounts are really worth, how much you owe on them, and how much they would be worth if you had to sell them immediately.
Then use this rule, contact the IRS and tell IRS collections about the value or non-value of your assets, money in your bank account etc. and prove to them what you are saying.
If you show the IRS that it will get nothing, and even cite the rules above, the collections employee or revenue officer should agree and leave the assets alone, even if it is a car or a home.