IRS 10-Year Statute of Limitations/Statute Expiration
How Long Can the IRS Collect a Debt?
The IRS generally has ten (10) years to collect a debt. After that time has passed, the IRS can no longer legally collect the debt and they write it off.
The ten year period is measured from the date that the tax was assessed, not when it was originally due. So, if you filed your tax return late the 10 year clock will not start running until you filed the return.
If you never filed a tax return, but the IRS filed one for you using a Substitute for Return / 6020(b) assessment, then the statute of limiations began running whenever that assessment was processed by the IRS on your behalf.
The date that your debts expire is known in IRS-lingo as the Collection Statute Expiration Date, or CSED.
How Can I Find Out My Expiration Date?
While the IRS only has ten years to collect a debt, there are certain factors that can extend or pause this Collection Statute so it can never be an exact science. The best option is to find out what the IRS says the expiration date is, and then review your account to make sure that we agree with them.
If you would like some assistance in learning your specific 10-year Collection Statute, we do offer free consultations and can access this specific information with your consent.
My Tax Debt Was Assessed More Than 10 Years Ago And Has Not Expired. Why?
IRS debts can only legally be collected for 10 years, but there are many events that may stop that 10 year clock from running. This is known as "tolling the statute of limitations". Events that stop or "toll" the statute of limitations from running include:
- Filing an Offer in Compromise -- the statute of limitations does not run the entire time your Offer is under review, including any Appeals that you exercise.
- Filing Certain Appeals -- the statute of limitations does not run the entire time an IRS Appeal is pending, in most cases.
- Filing Bankruptcy -- the statute of limitations does not run the entire time you are under the protection of the bankruptcy courts or for the six months following the discharge or dismissal of the bankruptcy.
- Filing a Lawsuit Against the IRS -- the statute of limitations does not run while litigation against the IRS is pending.
There are a few other things that stop the IRS statute of limitations from running, but these are by far the most common.
In general, during any time period in which the IRS is legally unable to pursue you for collection of the debt, the statute of limitations is not running.
If you exercised any of these options in the past, there was probably a period of time when the statute of limitations was not running.
In practice, this can make the statute of limitations longer than ten years -- sometimes adding several years to the clock.
Will the IRS Notify Me Once the 10-Year Statute Expires?
No, the IRS is not required to notify you once the debt has expired.
Although the IRS cannot pursue collection of the debt once the statute has expired, it is important that balances are confirmed to be fully written-off and even obtain official IRS documentation so the IRS can never legally collect against this debt at any point in the future nor can they try to prolong or extend their ability to collect against you, regardless of your financial situation.
Once the balance(s) are confirmed to be written-off, we can immediately work to get a Certificate of Release of Federal Tax Lien issued. This will serve as official documentation that the debt has been “satisfied” and the tax lien has effectively been released. You can then provide this original document to any lenders, credit bureaus or any other applicable party to prove you no longer owe the IRS this debt.
How Do I Know If My Statute of Limitations Has Expired?
Call us to take advantage of our free consultation.
One of the things we look at for every potential customer is how much time is remaining on the statute of limiations, because this can have a big impact on what strategy is best for you. Call us today at 866-573-3755.
There's no obligation, no catch, and no pressure.
My Statute of Limitations Has Expired - Now What?
If the IRS Statute of Limitations has expired, congratulations! All that remains is making sure the balances are fully written-off, including all penalties and interest that have accumulated over the years.
We can actually force the IRS to permanently eliminate the debt from your account so it will show as a zero balance and even obtain IRS documentation to prove this effective write-off.
We will also work with the IRS to ensure that a Release of Federal Tax Lien is issued so you can begin the process of repairing your credit and provide documentation of this Release of Lien to anyone who is concerned about the lien and requires proof that your lien is fully resolved.
Call Rick at (866) 573-3755 to learn more about all of the steps we can take to help you move on with your life.
My Statute of Limitations Has Not Expired - Now What?
If your Statute of Limitations has not expired, but it is getting close, the best thing to do is to get a plan in place with the IRS to ensure you're protected from aggressive collection action without doing anything that will stop the clock from running.
We generally recommend against attempting an Offer in Compromise if your statute of limitations is close to expiring soon because the clock stops throughout the entire Offer process.
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