Tax Lien Removals
565 West Adams Street, Suite 600, Chicago, IL 60661
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The Tax Practice of IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law
The Tax Practice of IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law


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Chicago Lawyers for Tax Lien Removals

chicago irs tax lien lawyer

IRS Tax Lien Release Attorneys

Are Federal or State of Illinois Tax Liens ruining your credit? Can't sell your home because of the encumbrance? Concerned that the IRS will "foreclose" on that lien and throw you out of your home leaving you with no place to live?

Let me be totally up front about this – getting a federal tax lien removed from public records is one of the most difficult tasks any tax controversy professional undertakes. And the reason for this is because the tax lien isn't filed to improve the IRS' position with respect to its rights to your property as against you. Its about the IRS protecting its' priority status in connection with potential third-party creditors; in other words, without filing the tax lien, the IRS could have its rights to your property subordinated to a subsequent lender. Filing the lien protects the IRS' position because it gives "constructive" notice to all third parties/potential creditors of its superior claim to your property. Consequently, the IRS has little or no incentive to remove the lien notice from public records until the debt is paid in full.

So, can you ever get the tax lien removed/withdrawn/released other than by full payment?

Yes. And here is how:

  1. If the IRS grants an offer in compromise, and you pay the agreed amount, the account is considered paid in full and the lien is "released."
  2. If you provide a "bond" to the IRS in the amount of the unpaid tax, penalties and interest (perhaps while you are disputing the underlying liability), the IRS will release the lien.
  3. If the ten-year statute of limitations on collection expires (and not otherwise extended), the lien is automatically "self-released."
  4. A specific piece of property to which the federal tax lien attached may be "discharged" from the lien, as when a residence is being sold and the IRS is being paid out of the proceeds allowing the taxpayer to pass clear title to the property.
  5. A tax lien may be "withdrawn" by the IRS if the notice was filed prematurely or the IRS did not follow its own administrative procedures.
  6. A tax lien may be withdrawn if withdrawal "would be in the best interests of the taxpayer and the government" or it will help the taxpayer pay the balance due.
  7. A tax lien may be withdrawn pursuant to the "Fresh Start Program" – when the total liability owing the IRS is $25,000 or less, and the balance is paid in 60 months or less by electronic bank direct debits.

Two Things to Remember

First, don't confuse a tax lien with a tax levy. A tax lien is simply the IRS' public notification that you have a debt due and owing the agency. In Illinois, tax liens against individuals for both personal and real property are filed in the county where the real property is located – to protect the government's priority interest in your property from being subordinated to subsequent creditors. A tax levy is the actual, physical taking of your property – bank account, wages, social security payments, independent contractors commissions, etc…. Technically, a tax "seizure" refers to the physical taking of tangible property (residence, vehicles, jewelry, etc…) while" levy" refers to intangible property.

Second, know that just because a tax lien is released or withdrawn, evidence of the filing remains on your credit reports for several years. Certainly, withdrawal or release is preferable to an active lien associated with an unpaid liability; but once that lien is filed, it can have some continuing consequences despite resolution with the government. Which is a great reason for me encouraging early intervention, if possible, before the IRS files its notice of tax lien.

Contact Our Chicago Tax Attorneys

Our proven success is based on immediate intervention, a personalized resolution plan, strong and long-standing professional relationships with agency employees, and a thorough knowledge of what the government can and cannot do. At the Tax Practice of IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, you can rely on aggressive, ethical, and personalized representation – I encourage you to make your problem our problem to solve.

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