The IRS, upon its discretion, may place a tax lien on your properties for your failure to pay your tax obligations within a specified time frame. This action gives the IRS legal claim on the property that is subject of the tax lien until you are able to make full payment of your tax obligations. A tax lien can seriously affect your personal credit score and will make the sale of your personal property complicated. Payment of the tax obligations does not always get reported to the credit agencies, which means the lien may still show on your credit. You can take action to make sure that the error is corrected and the tax lien is removed from your credit report.
Things You'll Need
- Certificate of release of the tax lien
- Latest credit report from each agency (TransUnion, Equifax, Experian)
How to Delete Tax Liens Off Credit Report
Request a copy of your credit report from each of the three credit reporting agencies (TransUnion, Experian and Equifax). You can request a copy of your credit report online from each agency website at TransUnion.com, Experian.com and Equifax.com, or from one source such as FreeCreditReport.com. If you prefer, you can also contact the agencies via phone. Review each credit report to make sure the tax lien you paid off has been removed.
Dispute the released tax liens not reflected in the credit report. Write a dispute letter to each agency that is still showing the tax lien. Explain that the tax lien has been paid-in-full and that you would like the lien to be removed from your credit report. Include a copy of the tax lien removal letter that was provided to you by the IRS when you paid the lien, or check the public records office of the county clerk's office that shows the lien was satisfied (Certificate of Release of the subject tax liens).
Send and confirm receipt. Once you submit the letter of dispute and supporting documentation, according to the dispute process steps listed on each credit report, you'll receive a confirmation email or letter from the agencies you're disputing the lien with. If you do not receive a confirmation within seven business days, then contact the credit agency by phone.
Wait for response. Once you receive confirmation that the agency or agencies have received your dispute, it can take up to 30 days for the agency to complete the investigation and remove the tax lien from your credit report.
Confirm removal. You'll receive a letter that confirms the removal of the lien from your credit report from each agency that was erroneously still reporting it. Once you receive the letter, or after the 30-day waiting period has passed, request another copy of your credit report to verify that the lien was removed.
Tips & Warnings
- You increase your chances of having the tax lien removed from your credit report if you wait until the payoff has been recorded to the government archives. In order to remove negative information related to tax lien in your credit report, you must initiate the dispute. You need to complete a separate dispute process with each agency that is still showing the tax lien. Each agency, TransUnion, Equifax and Experian, maintains its own records, so disputing it with one agency does not ensure removal from the other agencies.
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