Can the IRS confiscate anything in a safety deposit box?

A safe deposit box is designed to keep your items safe and secure from the potential threat of theft. The bank will have safeguards in place to limit access to authorized parties only.

However, there are circumstances that can happen that would warrant the box being seized or opened to a third party. Here are some of those instances where your items can be viewed by others.

The Times When Safety Deposit Boxes are No Longer Safe

Security and privacy are big issues for many people. They want to know that their items are safe. But there are times when unauthorized entry into your safe deposit box may be necessary.

  • If you find yourself in a position where your assets have been frozen, you may find your safe deposit box is frozen as well. The IRS, collections agencies, and any party that you may owe money. Sometimes a court may freeze the box while a pending court case is being settled.
  • The IRS has a lot of influence and discretionary power when it comes to finances that owed to the federal government. They can trace your name to any safe deposit box that you have if they have a need to force payment for a debt owed.
  • As a citizen of the United States, you do have rights that keep you from unwarranted seizure and search in the United States. However, when you owe money and have no intention of paying it back, your safe deposit box can be seized once the proper actions have been followed in a court of law.

A safe deposit box is the best place to keep valuables and important documents. The process of identification that the banks have in place really keeps people from having free access to property that does not belong to them.

Always be prepared to show proof that the items in the box are yours to avoid not having access to something that is rightfully yours.