Is there a statute of limitations for IRS tax claims?

Yes, there is a statute of limitations when it comes to IRS tax claims. It used to be six years, but it has since been increased to ten years. That means that the IRS has ten years from the date of the assessment to collect the tax; assessment is when the IRS notes in its record that you owe the money and this will usually happen within a day or so of the receipt of your tax return.

After ten years, if the IRS hasn't collected the money that you owe them, they are not allowed to collect anymore. There are, however, a few exceptions:

  • If the IRS sues you and gets a judgment, the judgment is valid longer.
  • If you leave the country, the statute is extended.
  • If you file an Offer of Compromise or you file for bankruptcy, the time that either of those two things is pending will be added on to the ten years, plus six months.

Remember, the statute of limitations is only valid if you actually file your tax return. That means if you know you owe taxes and you avoid filing your tax return—a federal crime, by the way—the statue of limitations does not begin because the tax hasn't been assessed.

If you are having IRS problems and owe back taxes that you're having trouble paying back, contact an experienced lawyer. Attorney J. Thomas Black will try to negotiate your debt with the IRS so that you are allowed to pay in reasonable installments or pay a reduced lump sum. He will also be able to discuss Texas bankruptcy options with you. Call Houston attorney J. Thomas Black for a free consultation at 888-707-1233.