Do Tax Debts Ever Expire?

27 Jun Do Tax Debts Ever Expire?

The US Treasury is limited to 10 Years for the collection of tax once the tax has been assessed and becomes collectable. For technical details about this limitation on federal tax collection see my article “How Long Can The IRS Collect From Me?” on our sister website Debt Law Network. As I indicated in that article, there are many ways the 10 year collection period can be extended.

While the federal government has decided to impose a limitation on itself for the collection of unpaid tax debt, most state governments have not felt the need to do so. The rule, rather than the exception, is that state tax can be collected for an unlimited time. Often, for state tax debts, only bankruptcy is an option.

Bankruptcy is a useful tool in managing and often in discharging unpaid tax liabilities. The same rules apply to the discharge of state tax liability that are used for discharge of federal tax. See What About The IRS? for a quick outline of discharge rules for tax liability.

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I was admitted to practice in 1978. I am certified as a Consumer Bankruptcy Specialist by the American Board of Certification. I regularly speak on tax and bankruptcy issues at state, regional and national conferences. Years of experience in practice before the Internal Revenue Service and Oregon Department of Revenue have given me the background to resolve a large variety of consumer tax issues.
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