Generally speaking, the IRS has 10 years to collect on an unpaid tax liability. After this period, the tax liability is wiped from your account transcripts. This 10 year Statute of Limitations is often referred to as the “Collection Statute End Date” or CSED.
The IRS does not go out of its way to let taxpayers know about CSED’s because there would be a broad incentive to put off collection as long as possible. However, the closer your liability gets to the CSED, the more the IRS will pursue collection actions.
The 10-year period is supposed to begin when the tax was assessed. However, there are frequently disputes on that timing between tax debtors and the IRS. Additionally, there are several instances which can toll (pause) the statute of limitations which include:
- Filing bankruptcy
- Filing an Offer in Compromise
- Filing appeals
- Filing lawsuit against IRS
- Being out of the country for at least 6 months
- Signing waiver to extend the CSED
- Military deferments.