Collection Statute Issues

Collection Statute Issues

Under IRC 6502, the IRS has only ten years from the date of tax assessment to collect your delinquent taxes. This was extended retroactively on November 5, 1990 from six years to ten years. This means that each tax assessment has a Collection Statute Expiration Date (CSED) – a date on which the tax liability is no longer legally enforceable. Once the statute of limitations for collection expires, your liability expires – and with it the government’s right to pursue collection of the tax! Prior to the Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998 (RRA 98), the IRS would “request” that the taxpayer “voluntarily” extend the collection statute by agreement – this unfair practice is no longer permissible, and any extension of the collection statute already in effect on December 31, 1999 will expire on the last day of the ten year collection period or December 31, 2002, whichever is later. However, the statute of limitations for collection can still be extended and/or suspended by:

• Installment Agreements with Form 900 Waiver

• Offer in Compromise

• Bankruptcy

• Collection Due Process (CDP) Appeal

• Taxpayer Assistance Order

• Absence from the Country

• IRS Judgment/Litigation

• Relief From Joint and Several Liability / Innocent Spouse

• Accounts of Taxpayers Who Serve in a Combat Zone or Contingency Operation

• Military Deferment

• Wrongful Levy (Seizure)

• Wrongful Lien

• Estate Tax Lien

• Enforcement of the Two-Tier tax Scheme

• Substitute For Return

Generally, the collection period is suspended during periods in which the IRS is legally barred from taking collection action against you, plus an extra 30 to 90 days in most cases.

If more than one case action suspends the running of the collection statute and the suspensions overlap, the CSED is viewed as extended only once for the period the suspensions overlap.