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Unpaid IRS Taxes: How Much Do I Have to Owe Before the IRS Files a Lien?

Posted by Brandon Keim | Mar 03, 2023 | 0 Comments

If you owe money to the IRS, it's important to understand the collections process and how the IRS will and won't attempt to collect unpaid taxes, penalties, and interest. The collections process begins when you receive a bill from the IRS. You will continue to accrue interest and penalties until you pay this bill in full. However, in some situations, the IRS may take only limited actions to collect your unpaid taxes.

Monetary Limits for Liens

tax lien is a legal claim against your property made by the government if you don't pay a tax debt. The lien protects the government's interest in your property, including your real estate, financial assets, and personal property. The IRS has a tax lien against you when:

  • The agency assesses your liability and puts it on the books, 
  • Sends you a Notice and Demand for payment, a bill that explains how much you owe,
  • You fail to pay the debt in full, and
  • The IRS files a Notice of Federal Tax Lien.

The Notice of Federal Tax Lien is a public document that alerts all creditors that the government has a legal right to your property.

When will the IRS File a Lien?

Under IRS policies, they typically won't file a Notice of Federal Tax Lien on your property if your debt is under $10,000. However, they will still file these liens when circumstances warrant it. If you repeatedly ignore demands for payment or IRS notices, they may still file a lien against your property.

Hire an Experienced Tax Attorney

If you have unpaid taxes and are facing a potential tax lien, it's best to tackle the problem head-on. Unpaid debts to the IRS continue to accrue penalties and interest until you pay them in full. If you have an unpaid bill from the IRS, it's time to bring in an experienced tax professional. You need a skilled tax attorney to guide you through this process. If you need help, call Senior Partner, Tax Controversy Attorney, and former IRS attorney Brandon A. Keim at (602) 200-7399 or contact him online to discuss your options.

About the Author

Brandon Keim

A Certified Tax Law Specialist, CPA, partner at Frazer Ryan Goldberg & Arnold LLP, and former Senior IRS Trial Attorney, Brandon Keim holds an LL.M. in Taxation from Georgetown University Law Center.


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