10 strange items seized by the IRS


10 strange items seized by the IRS

When you don’t pay your taxes in a timely manner, your property, wages, assets and savings are all subject to seizure by Uncle Sam.

And if that ever happens, the Internal Revenue Service can put your belongings on the auction block and sell them to the highest bidder.

In the past, the IRS has seized some totally bizarre assets, some of which were exempt from being levied.

Personal finance site GoBankingRates.com put together a list of the 10 most bizarre items seized by the IRS, from a pair of parking spaces to a pair of platform boots worn by Kiss guitarist Ace Frehley.

Here are 10 bizarre items seized by the IRS, according to GoBankingRates.com:

  1. Hair care products, manicure chairs from an Alabama hair salon
    • The IRS in 2015 auctioned off manicure and pedicure chairs, a full supply of Aveda hair care products, a dermabrasion machine and more. Bidding was slated to begin at $13,342.
  2. A pair of parking spaces for $560,000 
    • In 2013, the Boston Globe reported that two parking spots in the city were being sold for $280,000 each. 
  3. A luxury airplane sold for half its original price
    • A “nearly new” 1976 Beechcraft 58TC-Baron was up for a 2013 auction in Arkansas with a starting bid of $30,000. The price of the original aircraft? $170,750.
  4. Darryl Strawberry’s New York Mets salary
    • In 2015, the professional athlete’s deferred salary from the 1980s was sold for a $1.3 million bid. According to GoBankingRates.com, the winner receives a monthly check of $8,891.82 each month, amounting to a total of $2 million.
  5. Star-studded music and movie memorabilia
    • A music and movie buff lost some of his autographed albums, art, guitars and more in 2016 after failing to pay his taxes. His star-studded collection included Frehley’s platform boots and the jacket actor Brandon Lee wore in the 1994 film, “The Crow.”
  6. Native American land
    • In 2009, a private bidder bought 7,100 acres of South Dakotan Crow Creek Sioux land for more than $2.5 million. According to Colorlines.com, the IRS claimed the Crow Creek Sioux failed to pay approximately $3.1 million in taxes since 2003. But the tribe said the Bureau of Indian Affairs erroneously told them that as a federally recognized tribe, they’re not required to pay federal taxes.
  7. Young Buck’s assets — sold back to him
    • When rapper Young Buck declared bankruptcy in 2012, the IRS put some of his seized items up for auction. According to HotNewHipHop.com, Young Buck said he bought back most of the items, which included a personalized 615 Cashville necklace named for his record label and totaled $53,000.
  8. A Ponzi schemer’s Bugatti Veyron
    • In 2010, convicted Ponzi schemer Scott Rothstein lost his Bugatti Veyron and other luxury vehicles he used other people’s money to buy. The Bugatti Veyron sold for $858,000. Its original price: $1.7 million.
  9. Wedding gowns and tuxedos from a mom-and-pop bridal shop
    • Elderly couple and bridal shop owners Tony and Somnuek Thangsongcharoen sued the IRS for $1.8 million in financial damages after agents seized their inventory of wedding gowns, tuxedos, sewing machines and more in 2015, according to the Dallas Morning News. They owed roughly $31,400 in tax debt. “The agents auctioned off, before their very eyes, the family’s entire life savings for pennies on the dollar,” the lawsuit said.
  10. Delinquent debts from children
    • Though the seizure of overpaid benefits is now suspended, in 2014, if a deceased person owed taxes or funds to the government, the IRS could seize their money from their surviving children.

The IRS typically issues a levy (or legal seizure of your property) when you fail to pay your taxes or make arrangements to settle a debt even after receiving a Notice and Demand for Payment (or tax bill), a Final Notice of Intent to Levy and Notice of Your Right to a Hearing. 

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