FAQ 4: Tax Lien Release

Q: The IRS has filed a tax lien against me. How do I get it released?

A: The IRS filed the tax lien to secure the IRS’ creditor interest in collecting unpaid taxes. The lien is subject to a 10-year statute of limitations. Outside of waiting 10 years, the IRS will generally only release a valid lien once the tax debt is fully paid. A tax lien hurts the taxpayer’s credit score and prevents many taxpayers from qualifying for a home mortgage. To help a current homeowner access his or her home equity to pay the tax debt, the IRS will subordinate the tax lien to the lender. Additionally, taxpayers with a tax lien will find it harder to sell their current house. The IRS will discharge a tax lien on a home if the taxpayer agrees to transfer the proceeds of the sale to the IRS to the extent of the lien.