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Brandon M.
Brandon M., Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Attorney experienced in numerous areas of law.
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In State of Ohio - I recently received a notice from a collection

Resolved Question:

In State of Ohio - I recently received a notice from a collection agency attempting to collect supposedly unpaid personal income tax from 1996. I have no records dating back 15 years and do not recall submitting a return without payment. Due to the age of this claim, is it still collectable? I do not know if a lein was filed, but am going to the county recorders office tomorrow.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Brandon M. replied 6 years ago.
Hello there:

The statute of limitations for collecting on unpaid personal income tax in Ohio is seven years. Pursuant to Ohio Revised Code sec. 131.02, the State may not commence an “initial action” to collect taxes, interest or penalties after the later of: (i) seven (7) years after the date an assessment is issued; or (ii) four (4) years after the date an assessment becomes final. An assessment is considered final upon the expiration of the period to petition for reassessment or, if applicable, to appeal a final determination of the commissioner, the board of tax appeals, or a court. Either way, there is no legal means of collecting on a 1996 Ohio state income tax debt.

I understand that you may have follow-up questions. Let me know if further clarification is needed. Thank you.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
If there has been a lien filed relating to this matter, does that make any difference to the statute of limitations?
Expert:  Brandon M. replied 6 years ago.
How to explain this... the statute of limitations limits when a civil cause of action may be adjudicated. So, once the statute of limitations has passed, the plaintiff cannot go to court and get a judgment, which means that even though the debt is owed, there is no mechanism to force payment, so the plaintiff's claim is basically unenforceable and therefore worthless. A lien is an enforcement mechanism--it is a type of enforcement, so a lien will not keep a statute of limitations from passing, but the statute of limitations passing will not necessarily negate a lien. Does that make sense?
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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I believe I understand. Thank you for the answers. Very satisfied.
Expert:  Brandon M. replied 6 years ago.
My pleasure, and best of luck.