2016, 2017 and most 2018 were pretty quiet times for IRS collections. Funds for collections got re-routed to inept contractors and things just pretty much cooled off: the rare levy we saw was to collect a debt that was nearly expiring. Here in the fall of 2018, that trend is over: levies are back. If you have received a Notice of Intent to Levy or a Threat to Confiscate your Passport, the IRS really means it this time. In fact, a recent interaction with IRS Collections illustrates that even a four year old threat to levy letter is valid enough to backup a real levy in 2018.
All of the same principles apply as before: research your IRS record to find out how to bring yourself into compliance; in most cases, file your 2012 to 2017 returns to get into compliance, submit an Offer in Compromise if you can't pay back what you owe, and stay current on your current year estimated taxes above anything else if you are able to. BUT all of the above must be done with haste to beat the IRS levy and garnishment train.