Black's Law Dictionary, Sixth
Edition, p. 474:
Seizure; the act of distraining or making a distress. The inchoate
right and interest which a landlord has in the property of a tenant
located on the demised premises. Upon a tenant's default, a landlord
may in some jurisdictions distrain upon the tenant's property, generally
by changing the locks and giving notice, and the landlord will then
have a lien upon the goods. The priority of the lien will depend
on local law. See Distress.
[Black's Law Dictionary, Sixth Edition, p. 474]
Flora v. United States, 362 U.S. 145, 1959:
“Our system of taxation
is based upon voluntary assessment and payment, not upon distraint.”
v. United States, 362 U.S. 145, 1959]
26 U.S.C. §6331. Levy and distraint
CHAPTER 64 >
PART II > Sec. 6331.
(a) Authority of Secretary
(a) If any person liable to pay any tax neglects or refuses to pay
the same within 10 days after notice and demand, it shall be lawful
for the Secretary to collect such tax (and such further sum as shall
be sufficient to cover the expenses of the levy) by levy upon all
property and rights to property (except such property as is exempt
6334) belonging to such person or on which there is a lien provided
in this chapter for the payment of such tax.
Levy may be made upon the
accrued salary or wages of any officer, employee, or elected official,
of the United States, the District of Columbia, or any agency or
instrumentality of the United States or the District of Columbia,
by serving a notice of levy on the employer (as defined in section
3401(d)) of such officer, employee, or elected official.
If the Secretary makes a finding that the collection of such tax
is in jeopardy, notice and demand for immediate payment of such
tax may be made by the Secretary and, upon failure or refusal to
pay such tax, collection thereof by levy shall be lawful without
regard to the 10-day period provided in this section.
(b) Seizure and sale of property
The term ''levy'' as used in this title includes the power of distraint
and seizure by any means. Except as otherwise provided in subsection
(e), a levy shall extend only to property possessed and obligations
existing at the time thereof. In any case in which the Secretary
may levy upon property or rights to property, he may seize and sell
such property or rights to property (whether real or personal, tangible
Mortimer Caplin, Internal Revenue Audit Manual (1975)
"Our tax system is
based on individual self-assessment and
former head of the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax Division of the IRS, testifying
before a House Ways and Means subcommittee in 1953
"Let me point this out now.
Your income tax is 100 percent
voluntary tax, and your liquor tax is 100 percent enforced tax.
Now, the situation is as different as night and day. Consequently, your
same rules just will not apply...".
Internal Revenue Manual, Chapter 1100, section 1111.1
"The purpose of the IRS is to collect the proper amount of tax revenues
at the least cost to the public, and in a manner that warrants the highest
degree of public confidence in our integrity, efficiency and fairness.
To achieve that purpose, we will encourage and achieve the highest possible
degree of voluntary
compliance in accordance with the tax laws and regulations...".