Levy means seizure. The IRS will usually place levies where they can get liquid cash. Typically the first levy target is your bank account. Another source of cash that can fall prey to the IRS is your paycheck. The levy on your paycheck is a garnishment order.
We can have those IRS levies released before they take effect.
The IRS will send a levy notice to your employer, which commands the employer to send your paycheck to the IRS every payday until the back taxes are paid off. Many employers often fire the targeted employee when they receive a levy notice to garnish wages for back taxes. When the government sends a levy notice to a third party (your bank or employer) you have twenty days to appeal before the IRS can actually get the money.
Liens are filed at the county courthouse by the IRS to put the world on notice that the government has rights to your assets, not only property that you hold now, but any property that you might acquire in the future. By filing a lien, the IRS has basically frozen your assets. You are effectively prevented from selling your property. Your ability to obtain credit will be severely limited. The credit bureaus picks up those liens and put them on your credit report, making it impossible to borrow money, get a new car, or re-finance your home. You are essentially blocked from obtaining credit. A lien can be financially devastating, even though the IRS has not seized anything from you.