Taxpayers who fail to pay their tax in full or fail to make arrangements to pay their tax by the April 15 due date are subject to IRS collection action. One form of collection action is the issuance of an IRS lien, which secures IRS interest in your property. Once the 10-year statute has expired, however, the IRS is compelled by law to release the lien. If the lien is not released after the statute has expired, there is action you can take to force the IRS to release the lien.
How to Remove a Federal Tax Lien of Statute of Limitations
Call 1-800-913-6050 to request a Certificate of Lien Release. By law, your lien should be released within 30 days of the date that the tax debt was paid in full or 30 days from the date which the statute of limitations expired (usually 10 years from the date of assessment). If either of the aforementioned criteria have been met, the IRS has no choice but to issue a Certificate of Lien Release and mail it to you. The Certificate of Release is verification that the lien has been released. Unfortunately, even after the lien is released it may remain on your credit report for seven years.
Write the Internal Revenue Service at: Internal Revenue Service CCP - Lien Unit P.O. Box 145595 Stop 8420G Team (See Resources) Cincinnati, Ohio 45250-5595
Include in your written request the date and your name and address, and list each lien you would like released and the reason for the release. Also, be sure to include your phone number in case the representative handling your case needs to contact you for additional information.
Go to your local IRS office or call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 if you have an immediate need to have the lien released. For example, if you are on the verge of foreclosure and are unable to refinance your home because of an IRS lien, you may be eligible to be assigned a Taxpayer Advocate who can work to expedite the release of your tax lien. The Taxpayer Advocate Service is an independent service designed to assist taxpayers who have a tax issue that is causing financial hardship or that hasn't been resolved through normal IRS channels. When you contact the IRS, they may require verification of your urgent need to have to lien released. Be sure to have any verification information available so that it can be faxed to the IRS office.
- IRS Publication 1450: Certificate of Release of Federal Tax Lien
- IRS Publication 594: The IRS Collection Process (PDF)
- Tax Topic 201: The Collection Process
- IRS. "What's the Difference Between a Levy and a Lien?" Accessed July 13, 2020.
- IRS. "Understanding a Federal Tax Lien." Accessed July 13, 2020.
- IRS. "Topic No. 201 The Collection Process." Accessed July 14, 2020.
- IRS. "Additional Information on Payment Plans." Accessed July 14, 2020.
- IRS. "Instructions for Requesting a Certificate of Release of Federal Tax Lien." Accessed July 13, 2020.
Denise Caldwell is a finance writer who has been writing on taxation and finance since 2006. Her articles appear regularly on websites such as Gomestic.com and MoneyNing.com. She has taken what she learned while working at the IRS to provide readers with helpful tax and finance tips. Caldwell received a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Howard University.