Manufacturer loses real estate in tax seizure sale

Can co. challenge IRS six years later?

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For six years, Grable and Sons Metal Products Inc. failed to pay its federal income taxes. Eventually, the Internal Revenue Service decided to seize Grable's real estate and sell it to pay the unpaid income taxes. The IRS seized Grable's property. This dispute involves how the IRS notified Grable of the tax sale. The relevant federal statute says notice must be "given" personally to the owner of the property. Instead, the IRS sent a certified-mail letter notice of the sale, which Grable received. Purchase Bob Bruss reports online. The property was sold by the IRS at its tax seizure sale to Darue Engineering and Manufacturing Co. for $44,500. Grable did not challenge the sale at that time in 1994. But in late 2000, Grable filed this quiet title lawsuit against Darue, alleging the IRS tax sale was improperly conducted because Grable was notified by certified mail rather than by personal service. Darue replied there was no question Grable had notice of the IRS tax sale so Darue's titl...