This paper discusses the 2003 case IRS v. Snyder, as well as related case law, which addresses the issue of whether the IRS can be prevented from enforcing a lien on ERISA accounts.
The central issue in IRS v. Snyder, 343 F.3d 1171 (9th Cir.2003), was whether an IRS claim for delinquent taxes secured outside of bankruptcy by a lien on an ERISA-qualified pension plan is “secured” within the meaning of § 506(a). At the time the paper was written, courts were divided on this issue. The 9th Circuit in Snyder held that the IRS’s claim is not “secured” within the meaning of § 506(a) because “a debtor’s interest in an ERISA-qualified plan is excluded from the bankruptcy estate pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 541(c)(2).” Snyder, 343 F.3d at 1173.
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