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Tax.appeal.168, Tax Accountant
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Experience:  3+ decades of varied tax industry exp. Tax Biz owner
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A federal tax lien was recently filed against my personal property

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A federal tax lien was recently filed against my personal property for a tax assessment dated 2/17/2003. I think this was triggered because I began to collect SS and prior to that I had no personal income. The tax is currently (and has been for the last 10 years) determined to be "noncollectable". I live solely on my SS. The last day listed for refiling the lien is 3/19/2023 (20 years from the date of the assessment). Is this correct? I thought there was a 10 year statue of limitations for back taxes.
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The general rule is that there is a 10 year statute on the collection of tax from the IRS. However, there are some exceptions to that rule. Was the tax assessment initially imposed for not paying the taxes dues, not filing ta returns...? It is important for me to know why the original assessment was imposed in order to give you an accurate answer as to why they are still trying to collect.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I declared bankruptcy in 2003 and the assessment was back taxes owed from 2001 - 2003. The statue of limitations for collection should be running out sometime this year but on the Notice of Federal Tax Lien Filing, the IRS has listed the last day for them to refile the lien as 3/19/2023. That adds another 10 years to the 10 years that have already elapsed. The date of the assessment which was 2/17/2003. Could they have made a mistake or do I just not understand the statue of limitations and they can continue to try to collect this for another 10 years?

Hello again,

Sorry for the delay. I was away from the computer. Unfortunately, based on the following information, it does not appear that they made a mistake. You filing Bk suspended the statute of limitations. SEE BELOW: (03-01-2006)

  1. The CSED (collection Statute expiration date) , in a case under the Bankruptcy Code, is suspended while the Service is prohibited by reason of the case from collecting, and for six months thereafter. For more information see IRC 6503(h)(2). Thus, the CSED is generally suspended while the automatic stay imposed by the bankruptcy is in effect. Even if the suspension of the CSED under IRC 6503(h) no longer applies, the CSED still may be suspended when substantially all the debtor’s assets remain in the custody or control of the bankruptcy court under IRC 6503(b).

Reference source:

The following information might provide you with a clearer understanding;

Recorded tax liens will survive the bankruptcy and continue to attach to the pre-petition property that you retain after bankruptcy. The Chapter 7 bankruptcy only discharges your personal obligation to pay the debt. The IRS is free after the bankruptcy to seize assets that are subject to a recorded tax lien, even if your personal liability has been discharged.


I am sorry that I am not able to provide you with a more favorable answer.


Please let me know if I can be of further assistance to you regarding this matter.


Thank you again for using JUST ANSWER.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

My bankruptcy was filed and adjudicated over 10 years ago and this tax lien was just filed. Can they just continue to refile the lien over and over regardless of how long ago the tax was assessed?

Was your BK a Chapter 7? If my understanding of what you have written is correct, you're stating that the lien was NOT filed prior to your BK,and that you never rec'd any notices of the lien before now? Is this correct?


Tax Liens Imposed After Your Bankruptcy Filing

Filing Chapter 7 triggers a statutory protection known as the automatic stay. The automatic stay bars creditors, including the IRS, from taking action to collect most types of debt except through the bankruptcy process.

Among other things, the automatic stay bars the IRS from filing a tax lien postbankruptcy. This means that the IRS cannot impose a tax lien during your Chapter 7 case unless it previously filed a notice.

Tax Lien Notices Filed Before Your Bankruptcy Filing

A tax lien filed before your bankruptcy, however, continues in effect. The bankruptcy court cannot set aside a tax lien as long as it was filed properly before your Chapter 7 case.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

To the best of my recollection there was never a tax lien filed before this one. Yes, it was a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. I have a copy of a memo dated June 17, 2003 stating that the IRS did not file a Notice of Tax Lien against me. Sounds like I need to go to a tax attorney to get this straightened out. Thank you for your answers.

You are welcome. Sorry that I could not provide you with more favorable responses. A Tax Attorney should be able to straigten the matter out for you. You will need to Sign a Form 2848 Power Of Attorney so that he/she can act on your behalf. It does sound as if your situation is going to take more than just a phone call or two. However, since your only income is Social Security, you may want to consider contacting the IRS Tax Advocate Services in your area. Their services are free. You will find the contact information for the North Carolina Tax Advocate at the following link;

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