Tax liens are required to be removed from credit reports issued by the three largest credit bureau agencies (i.e., TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian) effective April 16, 2018. This decision was reached by the credit bureaus due to concerns about the integrity of the data pulled from public records and the correct matching of such data to individuals’ credit reports. For example, a tax lien filed for a person with a common name, say Joe Smith, may show up incorrectly on the credit report for another Joe Smith in the same town or even another person with the same name halfway across the country. Given the extreme negative impacts of having a tax lien on a record, the credit bureaus found it best to remove tax liens from credit reports all together.
The main focus of my CPA practice is income tax representation for individuals. Many taxpayers who come into our Raleigh, NC office seek relief from tax liens filed by the IRS or North Carolina Department of Revenue that have had damaging impacts to their credit affecting their ability to borrow, to obtain employment, and even the ability to obtain housing. Below is more information about tax liens issued by the IRS or the North Carolina Department of Revenue.
What is an IRS or NCDOR Tax Lien?
A tax lien is a public record filed in the local court system where a taxpayer lives. A main purpose of the tax lien filing is to alert other potential lenders that a taxpayer has unpaid debts to the IRS, North Carolina Department of Revenue, or other taxing agencies. A tax lien is a huge “red flag” to lenders that typically remains on a credit report for 7 years. A tax lien reflected on a credit report can drastically impacts a person’s ability to borrow. In cases when a loan is granted despite a lien on the credit report, the loan is more expensive as the interest rates are much higher when compared to a person with excellent credit.
Tax Lien Removal Does Not Remove Tax Debt
An anticipated result of the removal of tax liens from credit records is a positive increase in the credit score for taxpayers who had tax liens on the credit reports over the last 7 years. This increased “creditworthiness” will make many people eligible for loans, employment, and housing that they may not qualify for otherwise if the liens were to remain on the credit reports. However, despite the removal of the tax lien from the credit reports, the tax liens still remain in place and are still a matter of public record for anyone to access. As such, a tax lien can be uncovered in other ways such as title searches upon sale of a home and still need to be resolved.
If you or someone you know in the Raleigh, NC area needs help with any IRS or NCDOR tax lien issues or back taxes, contact me so that I can help. I can be contacted by phone at (919) 792-8511 or you can email me directly using this link.
Lauren Massie, CPA, PLLC
8480 Honeycutt Road, Suite 200
Raleigh, NC 27615
Lauren Massie, CPA, PLLC serves clients in North Carolina throughout the Greater Triangle Area including cities such as Raleigh, Wake Forest, Cary, Durham, Chapel Hill, Hillsborough, Youngsville, Franklinton, Garner, Knightdale, Zebulon, Angier, Clayton, Louisburg, and Wendell.