If I have both federal and state tax liens and will be receiving an inheritance of $20,000, will the state or IRS take the money?

Asked on July 23, 2015 under Bankruptcy Law, Massachusetts


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

*Will* they take the money is something we can't answer, since that's up to the agencies in question, if they become aware of the inheritance: there's no way to predict if they will or won't. However, they *can* go after your inheritance if they choose to and are aware of it; they can go after it up to the amount (including interest and penalties) which you owe them; and bankurptcy would not help you against the federal liens--you cannot discharge federal tax debts. (The federal government makes the bankruptcy laws; not surprisingly, they don't let you use their laws against them.)

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