As a general rule, the IRS only has 10 years to collect your tax debt, at which point, the debt expires and is no longer collectible. (As with all IRS issues, there are some exceptions to the rule.)
The 10-years starts ticking down on the date that the tax is assessed. Once the 10-year time period has run out, the debt basically just goes away.
However, there are some things that taxpayers do that can extend that date.
1) Bankruptsy - any time that the tax payer is in bankruptsy and the tax cannot be collected upon, the expiration date gets extended for the amount of time in bankruptsy, plus 6 months.
2) Collection Due Process hearing - if you challenge an assessment and go into a CDP hearing, the expiration date gets pushed back for as long as that process takes.
3) Filing for an Offer in Compromise or an Installment agreement - any time that the IRS has to stop collection activity to see if your offer or payment plan is approved, it will push the 10 year date back
These are all critical components in evaluating what plan of attack we may take in dealing with your tax debt.
Need help evaluating your tax debt and coming up with a game plan? Feel free to reach out and lets chat.
Madera and Fresno, CA
Disclaimer: Nothing in this article is to be considered tax advice. You should always consult with your personal tax and finance team to determine how these issues may or may not apply to you, and what your personal best plan of attack is.