Our new website is optimized for the most current web browsing technology. If you are using an older web browser, part of our website may not function properly as designed. Please consider upgrading your browser for an error free experience.
If you have unpaid state taxes, the state can place a tax lien on your home, car, bank account, or other assets. This means the state has a legal claim on your property until the debt is satisfied. The lien information also becomes public and is reported to credit agencies, which means damage to your credit score. Follow this advice if you need to know how to remove a state tax lien from your credit report.
Status of a Lien
A state tax lien can be:
Unpaid: An unpaid lien means an existing back taxes has not been satisfied. This status will remain on your credit report (and the lien will remain active) as long as the amount is not paid or otherwise settled.
Paid: A lien that has been paid or released means the debt in question has been paid and the lien is no longer active. This will remain on your credit report for seven years from the release date of the lien.
Withdrawn: A withdrawn lien has been removed from public record by the state tax agency. It should not appear on your credit report.
The Impact of a Tax Lien on Your Credit Report
A tax lien is one of the most damaging issues for your credit score, often for many years after it is settled. This can impact your ability to buy a home, borrow money for education, and reach other goals. This makes learning how to remove a state tax lien from your credit report all the more important. If you are unable to pay your tax lien, the damage to your credit will be permanent. Unlike other types of debts and negative marks, tax liens do not legally need to be removed from your credit report. This is a provision of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. For this reason, you should avoid a tax lien if at all possible.
Federal and state tax liens are treated differently by creditors, however. The IRS Fresh Start Program provides for early removal of federal tax liens from your credit report. The lien will be canceled at your request after you have paid all your outstanding taxes, or in some cases, after you have successfully entered a payment arrangement and made three payments as agreed. Then, you can request removal of the lien from your credit report by the three major credit bureaus.
Get a copy of your report from annualcreditreport.com. This is a free service. Check the public records section of the report to see if your tax lien is listed.
Pay off the balance with your state tax agency. You can do so in a lump sum or arrange for a payment plan. You must get the terms of any installment agreement in writing, including the circumstances under which the lien will be withdrawn.
Save all documents related to the tax lien and your repayment plan. Once you have paid the lien amount in full, request a letter from the state tax agency stating that you have satisfied the debt. You’ll need to send this paperwork to the credit bureaus. The process for obtaining this release form varies by state.
Dispute the lien with the credit bureaus and request that it be removed. You can do this either on the phone, through the mail, or online. However, it needs to be done separately for each bureau where the loan is reported. Each credit bureau has its own online dispute process, which is usually the simplest way to file a dispute. It also allows you to periodically check the status of your request.
If you prefer to dispute the lien by mail, send a certified letter to each credit bureau indicating that you have repaid the loan in full. You should also provide documentation proving that the back taxes in question was paid. Include the file number of the lien (available on your credit report), along with IRS Form 10916(c). Enclose a copy of your credit report with the tax lien section highlighted. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) provides a template you can use for your dispute letter.
Once you file a dispute, keep a copy of all related records. The credit bureaus must respond to your request within 30 days and make a decision regarding the lien within 90 days. In most cases, the issue will be resolved within four months.
If you cannot afford to pay your state taxes, you should attempt to resolve the debt with your state tax agency before the lien is placed. Options to do so will vary depending on the state to which you owe taxes, however. Take these steps if you’re concerned about your state back taxes:
Always file your taxes, even if you think you will owe more than you can afford. Penalties are much higher for failing to file taxes than they are for late payments.
Get in touch with your state tax agency to learn more about establishing a payment plan. If you are making a good faith effort to pay some of the debt, even if it is a small monthly amount, they will likely be willing to work with you.
Even if you don’t file your taxes, the state tax agency will eventually catch up with you. The eventual cost of ignoring your back taxes is much more than facing it head-on since penalties, interest, and fees will continue to accrue and can become astronomical.
Solvable is a for-profit company that helps customers resolve their tax problems, but a free service for consumers. Partners cannot pay us to guarantee favorable editorial reviews or ratings. We do not publish favorable (or unfavorable) editorial reviews or assessments at the direction of an advertiser or partner. We always work to put consumers first and do our best to provide value in meaningful ways, but our reviews are subjective.
How We Make Money
Solvable is compensated by some of the companies seen on our website. Most often, Solvable receives fees when one of our readers clicks, fills out a form, applies for, or receives a financial product from one of our partners. We also earn fees for capturing consumer stories and writing about them, displaying advertising, having our partners sponsor certain parts of the site, and writing content that may be relevant to our partner and their audience. This compensation may impact where products appear on this site, including article pages, comparison listings, the order in which they appear or if they will even appear on a given page, and our matching recommendations. Solvable has not written about, reviewed, or rated all financial products available to consumers.
In addition, we may be compensated in the following ways:
Referrals to consumers who use the online form or locator line that may provide expert answers to questions;
Marketing tax resolution, tax preparation, tax audit help and general tax assistance.
Referrals to services that help consumers with tax resolution, tax preparation, tax audit help and other tax issues.
We do recommend that you shop around and compare services and costs with other companies while performing your own due diligence, especially since people’s experiences with companies can change over time.
Free Solvable Services
The offers that you are matched up with are from companies or attorneys/law firms that we may receive compensation from. Based on our initial review of such companies or individuals, we feel comfortable introducing them to our readers. We won’t recommend something just because we’re offered payment to endorse or promote it. However, we do recommend that you shop around and compare services and costs with other companies while performing you own due diligence, especially since people’s experiences with companies can change over time.
We are not attorneys and we don’t provide legal advice. As always, we encourage you to do your homework and check out individuals and companies before you hire them. If you are already working with an attorney, we urge you to ask them your questions. After all, they will be familiar with your situation and the laws in your state.
We hope that you find Solvable helpful in your efforts to get a fresh start.
Personal Loans Advertiser Disclosure
The Personal Loan offers that appear on this site are from companies or affiliates from which solvable may receive compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including for example, the order in which they appear or whether a lender is “featured” on the site). solvable does not include all Personal Loan companies or all types of offers available in the marketplace.
Personal Loan Providers determine the underwriting criteria necessary for approval. You should review each Provider’s terms and conditions to determine which loan works best for you and your own personal financial situation. All reasonable efforts are made to provide and maintain accurate information. All rates, fees, and terms are presented without guarantee and are subject to change pursuant to each Provider’s or affiliates discretion. There is never a guarantee you will be approved for credit or that upon approval you will qualify for the advertised rates, fees, or terms that were shown.
Be sure to speak with your representative about the actual term and rate you may qualify for based on your credit history and ability to repay the loan. Lenders may charge an origination fee generally around 1% of the amount sought. Be sure to ask up front about all fees, costs and terms associated with each loan product. Loan amounts of $1,000 up to $35,000 may be available through participating lenders or affiliates; however, your state, credit history, credit score, personal financial situation, and lender underwriting criteria can impact the amount, fees, terms and rates offered. In some cases, lenders may require that you have an account with them already and for a prescribed period of time in order to qualify for better rates on their personal loan products. Ask your representative for details.
Credit Card Advertiser Disclosure
The card offers that appear on this site are from companies or affiliate offers from which solvable may receive compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including for example, the order in which they appear). solvable does not include all card companies or all card offers available in the marketplace.
Credit Card Providers determine the underwriting criteria necessary for approval. You should review each Provider’s terms and conditions to determine which card works for you and your personal financial situation. Information is provided by the Credit Card Providers and is not a guarantee of approval.
All credit card rates, fees, and terms are presented without guarantee and are subject to change pursuant to each Provider’s discretion. All reasonable efforts are made to provide and maintain accurate information. There is no guarantee you will be approved for credit or that upon approval you will qualify for the advertised rates, fees, or terms shown.
Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in articles, marketing materials or otherwise are those of the author’s alone and/or solvable, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any Credit Card Provider.
See the online Provider’s credit card application for details about terms and conditions. Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information. However all credit card information is presented without warranty. When you click on the “Apply Now” button, you can review the credit card terms and conditions on the provider’s website.
Business Loans Advertiser Disclosure
Business Loan offers that appear on this site are from companies or affiliates from which solvable may receive compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including for example, the order in which they appear or whether a lender is “featured” on the site). solvable does not include all Business Loan companies or all types of offers available in the marketplace.
Business Loans are those loans that are for commercial use and any property and/or proceeds from the proposed request will be used by the requestor for commercial purpose only and not for any personal, family or household purposes.
Most of our Business Funding Partners or affiliates, do not require collateral for business loans; however, please note that it is possible to be offered another product by the lender depending on your needs and if the underwriting requirements dictate the same. Traditional bank and SBA loans generally are known for collateral requirements.
There is no one-size fits all business loan. Rather there are several types that will likely be offered and or discussed with you upon completing your request. Business Funding Partners determine the underwriting criteria necessary for approval, you should review each Partner’s terms and conditions to determine which business funding option works for your business’s financial situation. All reasonable efforts are made to provide and maintain accurate information. All rates, fees, and terms are presented without guarantee and are subject to change pursuant to each Partner’s discretion. There is never a guarantee your business will be approved for credit or that upon approval your business will qualify for the advertised rates, fees, or terms shown. Lender terms and conditions will apply and all products may not be available in all states. Ask your loan representative for details.
Student Loan Refinancing Advertiser Disclosure
Student loan offers that appear on this site are from companies or affiliates from which solvable may receive compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including for example, the order in which they appear or whether a lender is “featured” on the site). solvable does not include all student loan companies or all types of offers available in the marketplace.
Potential savings may vary based on the interest rates, balances and remaining repayment term of the loans you are seeking to refinance. Your overall repayment amount may be higher than the loans you are refinancing even if your monthly payments are lower. Variable rate options will fluctuate over the term of your loan with changes in the LIBOR (or other index utilized by the lender) rate, and will vary based on applicable terms and presence of a cosigner. Fixed interest rates may be based on applicable terms and presence of a co-signer. Additional terms and conditions, and rates are subject to change at any time without notice and may not be available in all states or for all types of current student loans. Such changes should only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change. Please note: Due to federal regulations, Lenders are required to provide every potential borrower with disclosure information before they apply for a private student loan. The Lender you select is required to provide you with an Application Disclosure and an Approval Disclosure within the application process before you accept the terms and conditions of your loan. solvable is not a lender or creditor, it does not offer, extend or alter credit terms. Only participating lenders can perform the full application and deliver the required disclosures, please ask your lender about rates, terms, fees, and potential discounts that may be available for each product.
Certain federal and private student loans may not be eligible for consolidation/refinance.
Certain consolidation/refinance plans may result in higher monthly payments or negative consequences (i.e. prepayment penalties).
Consolidation/refinance may lead to other negative results, such as loss of grace periods.
Loans in default generally cannot be consolidated until completion of a repayment trial plan so tell your lender if you are in default and determine relevant options (be wary of those asking for upfront fees as well)
Other options or programs may fit your needs (i.e. personal loan, debt consolidation and/or debt relief). Consult your financial and/or tax advisor prior to making any decisions.
Solvable is not a creditor as it does not offer, extend or alter credit; rather it is an online market lead generator that allows consumers to shop and compare rates, terms and costs associated with financial products such as mortgages, auto loans, personal loans, student loans, etc. solvable does not originate or fund any product it markets; rather it has a network of lenders or Partners/affiliates. You may choose to speak with one or more of these lenders or Partners/affiliates to determine what your actual terms and savings may be. Only a lender can provide you with a formal application for credit, your inquiry form here is merely an expression of interest and/or intent to obtain credit or assistance. You must discuss your actual credit situation and fill out the lender’s required documents prior to obtaining an extension of credit. Network lenders may not have the best or the lowest rates so you are encouraged to continue to shop and compare additional lenders, credit unions, local financial institutions, etc. to ensure you are truly getting your best deal for your situation.
You should contact your tax professional or other financial advisor to determine if you can actually realize savings by refinancing when it can extend the life of your current loan. You should ask the lender about all terms, rates, fees and costs associated with each product and if you will realize a net tangible benefit from the same. All initial estimated savings is done by trying to calculate what your rate may be; however, solvable does not have that information and cannot guarantee potential savings or that lenders will approve you for such product that would warrant those savings. Rates are not guaranteed and change daily. Lenders/Brokers/Dealers/Partners that perform the actual underwriting will have to determine if you meet their underwriting criteria which is unknown to solvable at the time of matching/offer/quote delivery. All amounts are estimates and examples only and do not represent an actual offer.
Congrats! You're One Step Closer To Resolving Your Tax Debt.