Releasing a Federal Tax Lien from the IRS - A Step by Step Guide - John R. Dundon II, Enrolled Agent
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Releasing a Federal Tax Lien from the IRS – A Step by Step Guide

Releasing a Federal Tax Lien from the IRS – A Step by Step Guide

Fortunately I graduated from providing this service for hire preferring to refer all tax collection work to a handful of trusted friends and advisers consciously choosing (bless their hearts) to focus solely on Section 6325(a) of the Internal Revenue Code that directs the release of a Tax Lien after a liability becomes fully paid or legally unenforceable. Contact me directly for a referral to my A team!

My preference though is to empower you to try this yourself first!

Where the real margins are made in this line of work I am told is in the fact that the IRS must release a lien when they accept a bond for payment of the tax. That’s where Guido and Luigi come along making offers too good to resist, so tread lightly.

Back on point – If the IRS has not released the lien within 30 days after payment in full is made or the determination has been made that the lien is legally unenforceable, you can ask for a Certificate of Release of Federal Tax Lien by taking specific steps. Depending upon your needs the most efficient and timely way to get a lien released is to go to a designated IRS Walk-in clinic that caters to releasing the lien. Be sure to check this out in advance as for example there is only one IRS Office that meets that criteria in all of Colorado – Downtown Denver – 1999 S. Broadway – 17th floor.

Research IRS Office accommodations and availability via this link -> www.irs.gov/localcontacts/index.html

If you go – it should go without writing, but – leave your marijuana at home or at the very least in the car as it will get confiscated and you will get cited for having a controlled substance in a “federal” space as you are intimately searched upon entry by Gomer Pyle and his managing supervisor, Sargent Carter.

I also suggest getting there early as that is when the wait times are the shortest, the Denver office opens at 8:30 AM. To prepare for the journey you are best served first calling 1-800-913-6050 to check on the status of the assessment and request a final payoff amount as of the day of the transaction.

Here’s a little secret while on the phone -> ask the IRS what the largest penalty is for the tax years relevant to the issuance of the tax lien.  If you are a first time requester meaning that you have NOT made a request for relief in the previous 36 months you may be eligible to get that penalty abated when you go in to request the lien release. This is accomplished by preparing, signing and filing IRS Form 843, instructions found here.

At the walk in clinic you can pay any unpaid tax with a certified check, cashier’s check or postal or bank money order to request an immediate issuance of the Certificate of Release. For other forms of payment, the Certificate of Release will be issued within 30 days of the liability being satisfied. In person it takes about 2 hours start to finish to get ‘er done once an IRS employee with the seniority and skill set are able to see you. Yes there is a difference between seniority and skill set inside the ‘Service’ so you need to be on your toes making sure the person ‘helping’ you knows what they are doing.

For example they may need to research your account to confirm you no longer have a liability and will provide a release once they have they have done so, insist on them doing it immediately and insist upon waiting while it is done. If they are following protocol they will ask for the request to be made in writing so have a document prepared in advance. The request should be addressed to “Advisory Group Manager” with a specific address based on where you live. Use Publication 4235, Collection Advisory Group, to determine that address.

Your request must contain the following information:

  1. The date of your request,
  2. The name and address of the taxpayer,
  3. One copy of each Notice of Federal Tax Lien you want released
  4. Why the lien should be released, and
  5. A telephone number with the best time for us to call you should we need additional information.

Upon completion of this effort the certificate you receive will not show the official recording information. For a copy of the recorded certificate, you must contact the recording office where the Certificate of Release of the Federal Tax Lien was or will be shortly filed. This is usually the County Recorder’s office for the county in which you reside or within which the IRS ‘thinks’ you reside as determined by the address on the last personal income tax return filed. If you have made it this far in the post I also suggest being proactive by contacting the credit bureaus directly with copies of the release containing the official recording information

If you prefer to avoid the IRS Walk in clinic and can wait the release can be secured via US Mail and fax in 30 days with the following contact information based on where you live.

Centralized Lien Operations Address and Contact Information

Internal Revenue Service

Centralized Lien Operations

P.O.  Box 145595

Stop 8420g Team ( enter Team Number from the list below)

Cincinnati, OH 45250-5595

Telephone Number: 1-800-913-6050

Outside the United States 859-669-4811

Hours 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 pm based on U.S. time zone

            State                        Team              Fax Number

  • Alabama                         103                 855-389-1537
  • Alaska                             201                 855-390-3529
  • Arizona                           201                 855-390-3529
  • Arkansas                         201                 855-390-3529
  • California                         203                855-3903530
  • Colorado                         201                 855-390-3529
  • Connecticut                     103                 855-389-1537
  • District of Columbia         104                 855-390-3527
  • Delaware                         102                 855-389-1536
  • Florida                             101                 855-389-1535
  • Georgia                           101                 855-389-1535
  • Hawaii                             201                 855-390-1535
  • Idaho                               203                 855-390-3530
  • Illinois                              104                 855-390-3527
  • Indiana                            101                 855-389-1535
  • Iowa                                101                 855-389-1535
  • Kansas                            201                 855-390-3529
  • Kentucky                         102                  855-389-1536
  • Louisiana                        104                  855-390-3527
  • Maine                              103                  855-389-1537
  • Maryland                         102                  855-389-1536
  • Massachusetts               103                   855-389-1536
  • Michigan                         102                  855-389-1536
  • Minnesota                       104                  855-390-3527
  • Mississippi                      104                  855-390-3527
  • Missouri                          104                  855-390-3527
  • Montana                          201                 855-390-3529
  • Nebraska                        104                  855-390-3527
  • Nevada                           201                  855-390-3529
  • New Hampshire             103                   855-389-1537
  • New Jersey                    102                  855-389-1536
  • New Mexico                   201                  855-3903529
  • New York                       103                  855-389-1537
  • North Carolina               102                  855-389-1536
  • North Dakota                 201                  855-390-3529
  • Ohio                               103                  855-389-1537
  • Oklahoma                      104                  855-390-3527
  • Oregon                          203                  855-390-3530
  • Pennsylvania                 102                  855-389-1536
  • Puerto Rico                   101                   855-389-1535
  • Rhode Island                 102                  855-389-1536
  • South Carolina              104                  855-390-3527
  • South Dakota                201                  855-390-3529
  • Tennessee                    104                  855-390-3527
  • Texas                            201                  855-390-3529
  • Utah                              201                  855-390-3529
  • Vermont                       103                  855-389-1537
  • Virginia                         101                  855-389-1535
  • Washington                  203                  855-390-3530
  • West Virginia               102                   855-389-1536
  • Wisconsin                    104                   855-390-3527
  • Wyoming                      201                  855-390-3529
  • International                 101                  855-389-1535