Currently Not Collectible (2023)

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Published: December 10, 2021 | Last Updated: March 29, 2023

There are times where you agree you owe the IRS, but you can’t pay due to your current financial situation. If the IRS agreesyou can’t both pay your taxesand your basic living expenses, it may place your account in Currently Not Collectible (CNC) status.

What do I need to know?

While your account is in CNC status, the IRS generally won’t try to collect from you.For example: It won’t levyyour assets and income. However, the IRS will stillassess interest and penalties to your account and may keep your refunds and apply them to your debt.You’ll also continue to receive an annual bill from the IRSas required under the law.

Before the IRS will place your account in CNC statusit may ask you to file anypast duetax returns.

If you request CNC status, generally,the IRS may ask you to provide financial information,to reviewyour income and expenses and decidewhether you can sell any assets or get a loan.

The IRS may collect the balance you owe if your financial situation hasimproved when they conduct an annual review of your income.

The IRS can attempt to collect your taxes up toten years from the date they were assessed. The IRS may suspend the ten-year periodin certain circumstances. The time the suspension is in effect will extend the time the IRS has to collect the tax.

The IRS won’t suspend interest and penalty charges, even if it stops trying to collect the balance due. You may want to consider other possiblepayment optionswithin your means before asking the IRS to place your account in CNC status.

To see if you qualify for CNC status, you’ll need to contact the IRS

If you have a notice, use the contact information included there.If you don’t have or have lost your notice, call the followingnumbers for assistance:

  • Individual taxpayers:Currently Not Collectible (1)800-829-1040 (or TTY/TDDCurrently Not Collectible (2)800-829-4059)
  • Business taxpayers:Currently Not Collectible (3)800-829-4933

While applying for CNC status

  • The IRS may ask you to file anypast duereturns.
  • The IRS may ask you to completeForm 433-A, Collection Information Statement for Wage Earners and Self-Employed Individuals, orForm 433-F, Collection Information Statement, and/orForm 433-B, Collection Information Statement for Businesses, before making any collection decision.
  • The IRS may require documentation to support items listed on your Collection Information Statements.
  • The IRS will continue to charge monthly late payment penalties and interest on your account.
  • The IRS will require you to continue to make your Estimated Tax Payments and Federal Tax Deposits, on time.




What should I do?

Don’t ignore the notices you get from the IRS about your balances due.

If you decide to requestCNCstatus, you should:

  • Fileprior year tax returns(if you were required to file a return), even if you can’t pay the amount you owe right now.
    • If you need help preparing your tax returns and can’t afford to pay a tax return preparer, considerfree file options.
    • If you meet the requirements, you might be able to have your return prepared for free at aVolunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) or Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE)site.
    • The IRS may place your accounts in CNC status, evenif you have unfiled returns and are in a hardship situation, if you meet the requirements.
    • Continue to make Estimated Tax Payments and Federal Tax Deposits on time.
  • Continue to file your returns on time even if you can’t pay. This will prevent late filing penalties.
  • Gather your information to verify your income, expenses, and any debts you owe (loans, etc.). You may need to provide the IRS this financial information so it can decide whether to grant your request.

If the IRS decides you can make some type of payment and you still disagree, you may:

  • Request a conference with the IRS Collection Manager. IRS employees are required to give you the name and phone number of their supervisor.
  • Hire an attorney, Certified Public Accountant (CPA), or Enrolled Agent (EA) to represent you. If your income is below a certain level,you may qualify for assistance from aLow Income Taxpayer Clinic.
  • Appeal certain collection actions the IRS is taking or proposing. See Publication 1660, Collection Appeal Rights.

Contact theTaxpayer Advocate Service, if your problem is causing financial difficulty for you, your family, or your business; or you or your business is faced with an immediate threat of adverse action.

(Video) IRS Currently Non Collectible



How will this affect me?

If the IRS places your account inCNC status

  • The IRS may keep your tax refunds and apply them to your debt.
  • You can still make voluntary payments.
  • The IRS shouldn’tlevy your assets or income, unless later federal tax liabilities arise to remove you from an uncollectible status.
  • The IRS may file a Notice of Federal TaxLien(NFTL) even if your account is placed in CNC status. The filing of an NFTL can affect your credit rating, and your ability to sell property or other assets.
  • The IRS may contact you to update your financial information to be sure your ability to pay hasn’t changed.
  • The IRS is required by law to notify the State Department if you are certified as owing a Seriously Delinquent Debt. But, the IRS has discretion to exclude debts from Passport Certification, that are CNC.

What if I still can’t pay in the future?

If the IRS sends you a notice about your tax bill, call the number on the notice to discuss your financial situation. The IRS will take your updated information and decide if you still can’t payyour IRS debt andmeet yourliving expenses. Make sure you have all the information about your income and expenses before you call.

You may prevent future tax liabilities byadjusting your withholding, makingestimated tax payments or Federal Tax Deposits.

New Tax Reform implementation changed the way the IRS calculates your federal tax.The IRS encourages everyone to perform a quick “paycheck checkup” to ensure you have the right amount withheld.

You may use the IRSwithholding calculatorto figure your federal income tax and withholding. The withholding calculator is a tool on designed to help you determine how to have the right amount of tax withheld from your paychecks.

When you use the withholding calculator, it will help you determine if you need to adjust your withholding and submit a newForm W-4, Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate, to your employer.



Wait, I still need help.

The Taxpayer Advocate Service is an independent organization within the IRS that helps taxpayers and protects taxpayers’ rights. We can offer you help if your tax problem is causing a financial difficulty, you’ve tried and been unable to resolve your issue with the IRS, or you believe an IRS system, process, or procedure just isn’t working as it should. If you qualify for our assistance, which is always free, we will do everything possible to help you.

Visit or call 1-877-777-4778.

Low Income Taxpayer Clinics (LITCs) are independent from the IRS and TAS. LITCs represent individuals whose income is below a certain level and who need to resolve tax problems with the IRS. LITCs can represent taxpayers in audits, appeals, and tax collection disputes before the IRS and in court. In addition, LITCs can provide information about taxpayer rights and responsibilities in different languages for individuals who speak English as a second language. Services are offered for free or a small fee. For more information or to find an LITC near you, see the LITC page on the TAS website or Publication 4134, Low Income Taxpayer Clinic List.

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What does currently not collectible mean IRS? ›

Being currently not collectible does not mean the debt goes away, it means the IRS has determined you cannot afford to pay the debt at this time.

What does non collectible mean? ›

: not capable of or suitable for being collected : not collectible. uncollectible loans/debt.

What is the statute of limitations for currently not collectible? ›

In other words, there is a 10-year "statute of limitations" on income taxes. During the time a taxpayer is in currently not collectible status, the statute of limitations continues to run, meaning that if the IRS is unable to collect the back taxes within this 10-year period, the debts expire automatically.

How do I request currently not collectible status? ›

To request Currently Not Collectible status for your tax debt, call the IRS. If you recently got a notice about a tax debt, you can use the phone number on the notice. Otherwise, call 800-829-1040. When you speak with an agent, explain your situation.

How long does non collectable status last? ›

By placing an account in IRS currently non-collectible status, the IRS essentially halts all attempts at collection activity on an account until it feels that the taxpayer is ready to make payments again. IRS currently non-collectible status generally lasts anywhere from six months to over two years.

What does the IRS consider a collectible? ›

Collectibles are considered alternative investments by the IRS and include things like art, stamps, coins, cards, comics, rare items, antiques, and so on. If collectibles are sold at a gain, you will be subject to a long-term capital gains tax rate of up to 28%, if disposed of after more than one year of ownership.

What happens to the account when it is in currently not collectible status? ›

What do I need to know? While your account is in CNC status, the IRS generally won't try to collect from you. For example: It won't levy your assets and income. However, the IRS will still assess interest and penalties to your account and may keep your refunds and apply them to your debt.

What is non collectable tax debt? ›

Currently not collectible is a status the IRS gives to those who can't afford to make payments on their tax debt. To qualify, your tax payments must cause significant hardship. This status isn't permanent. It will be reviewed periodically, and if your situation changes, you may be required to start payments.

What is considered a collectible? ›

A collectible is an item worth far more than it was originally sold for because of its rarity and popularity, as well as its condition. Collectibles aren't always as common or as great an investment. The term collectible is sometimes applied to new items that have been mass-produced and are currently for sale.

Is IRS statute of limitations 2 years? ›

Generally, the statute of limitations for the IRS to assess taxes on a taxpayer expires three (3) years from the due date of the return or the date on which it was filed, whichever is later. A return is considered to be filed on the due date of the return if it was filed on or before its due date.

What is the IRS expiration of the statute of limitations? ›

In general, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has 10 years to collect unpaid tax debt. After that, the debt is wiped clean from its books and the IRS writes it off. This is called the 10 Year Statute of Limitations.

What does statute of limitations mean for IRS? ›

The IRS Statute of Limitations refers to the period of time during which the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) may legally collect taxes, penalties, and interest from a taxpayer.

Can the IRS collect after 7 years? ›

Internal Revenue Code section 6502 provides that the length of the period for collection after assessment of a tax liability is 10 years. The collection statute expiration ends the government's right to pursue collection of a liability. The period for collection expires 90 days after the date specified in the waiver.

What happens if you owe the IRS but can't pay? ›

The IRS may be able to provide some relief such as a short-term extension to pay (paid in 120 days or less), an installment agreement, an offer in compromise, or by temporarily delaying collection by reporting your account as currently not collectible until you are able to pay.

Will the IRS take your money if you don't spend it? ›

So, in short, yes, the IRS can legally take money from your bank account. Now, when does the IRS take money from your bank account? As we stated, before the IRS seizes a bank account, they will make several attempts to collect debts owed by the taxpayer.

Does the IRS really have a fresh start program? ›

The Fresh Start program is open to any taxpayer who owes taxes and is struggling to pay them. There are no income requirements. The first step in applying for the IRS Fresh Start program is to contact your tax attorneys or accountants and see if you qualify.

How long does CNC last? ›

The debt does not simply go away. Eventually, you will be required to pay it. The IRS will monitor an individual's finances and their ability to pay back the debt. Most of the time, CNC will last between 6 months and 2 years before a review occurs.

How long can the IRS hold your refund for review? ›

After 60 days, you'd need to file an amended return to reverse any errors and get your refund back. If the IRS thinks you claimed erroneous deductions or credits, the IRS can hold your refund.

How does IRS know if you gift money? ›

The IRS finds out if you gave a gift when you file a form 709 as is required if you gift over the annual exclusion. If you fail to file this form, the IRS can find out via an audit.

How far back can IRS audit gifts? ›

Gift Tax Return Statute of Limitations

In general, IRC 6501(a) requires the IRS to assess a gift tax liability within three years after the filing date (or due date of the gift tax return, whichever is later).

How do I avoid paying taxes on collectibles? ›

The surefire way to avoid paying any sort of taxes on your collectibles is, of course, to not sell them. Beyond the obvious and perhaps silly answers, there are a few strategies that can help keep your tax bill down. First, sell the asset within a year so that the sale qualifies as a short-term capital gain.

What is an IRS temporary collection delay? ›

Temporary Delay of the Collection Process

If the IRS determines a taxpayer is unable to pay, it may delay collection until the taxpayer's financial condition improves. However, penalties and interest continue to accrue until the full amount is paid.

What happens when the IRS sends your account to collections? ›

The IRS will give taxpayers and their representative written notice that the accounts are being transferred to the private collection agencies. The agencies will send a second, separate letter to the taxpayer and their representative confirming this transfer.

How do I deal with IRS collections? ›

Paying your tax debt in full is the best way to get rid of a federal tax lien. The IRS releases your lien within 30 days after you have paid your tax debt. In certain situations, the IRS may withdraw a Notice of Federal Tax Lien even when you still owe the tax debt.

What does the IRS consider seriously delinquent tax debt? ›

Seriously delinquent tax debt is an individual's unpaid, legally enforceable federal tax debt totaling more than $55,000 (including interest and penalties) for which: Notice of federal tax lien has been filed and all administrative remedies under Internal Revenue Code Section 6320 have lapsed or been exhausted, or.

Does collections affect your tax return? ›

These debts include past-due federal taxes, state income taxes, child support payments and amounts you owe to other federal agencies, such as federal student loans you fail to pay. As a result, the collection agencies that your other creditors hire to obtain payment from you cannot intercept or garnish your tax refund.

Can debt collectors take money from your tax return? ›

In normal circumstances, debt collectors can't intercept or garnish your income tax refund. Even when you default on credit cards, creditors and debt collectors can't take your income tax refund from Uncle Sam directly. They can levy your bank account or garnish your wages, however.

How many years is considered collectible? ›

Heres a list of terms often used in collectible culture: Antique: a collectible item at least 100 years old. Vintage: A culturally significant item ranging from 20-99 years in age, worthy of being collected. Authentic, aged pieces in various conditions.

Which of the following is an example of a collectible? ›

Art, antiques, stamps, books, coins, trading cards and comic books are common types of collectibles.

Are cars considered collectibles for tax purposes? ›

Collector cars are considered property, so collector cars are often taxed. Capital gains tax on collectible cars have a flat 28% tax rate.

Does the IRS forgive tax debt? ›

The IRS will rarely forgive your tax debt. Deals such as “offer in compromise” are only extended to those experiencing genuine financial hardship, such as a catastrophic health care emergency or a lost job paired with poor job prospects.

At what age do you stop paying IRS taxes? ›

At What Age Can You Stop Filing Taxes? Taxes aren't determined by age, so you will never age out of paying taxes. Basically, if you're 65 or older, you have to file a tax return in 2022 if your gross income is $14,700 or higher.

Is there a one time tax forgiveness? ›

One-time forgiveness, otherwise known as penalty abatement, is an IRS program that waives any penalties facing taxpayers who have made an error in filing an income tax return or paying on time. This program isn't for you if you're notoriously late on filing taxes or have multiple unresolved penalties.

How do I find out my collection statute expiration date? ›

You can simply look at the date of assessment if you received a Notice of Federal Tax Lien in the past. Your CSED will be 10 years from that date.

Can the IRS collect after 3 years? ›

If you omitted more than 25% of your gross income from a tax return, the time the IRS can assess additional tax increases from three to six years from the date your tax return was filed. If you file a false or fraudulent return with the intent to evade tax, the IRS has an unlimited amount of time to assess tax.

Can IRS refile tax lien after 10 years? ›

That's because a federal tax lien can be extended as long as the IRS refiles the lien 30 or more days before it expires. If this happens, the lien will renew beyond the 10-year expiration date.

How far back can tax evasion be investigated? ›

The federal tax statute of limitations describes the time the IRS has to file charges against you if you are suspected of tax fraud. In most cases, the IRS can audit your tax returns up to three years after you file them, which means the tax return statute of limitations is three years.

What happens if you owe the IRS more than $25000? ›

For individuals, balances over $25,000 must be paid by Direct Debit. For businesses, balances over $10,000 must be paid by Direct Debit. Apply online through the Online Payment Agreement tool or apply by phone or by mail by submitting Form 9465, Installment Agreement Request.

What should I do if I haven't filed taxes in 10 years? ›

What You Should Do
  1. Determine if the IRS Filed a Substitute Return.
  2. File the Missing Returns.
  3. Seek Assistance From an Experienced Tax Attorney or CPA.
  4. Negotiate the Tax Bill.

What is the IRS 10 year rule? ›

All distributions must be made by the end of the 10th year after death, except for distributions made to certain eligible designated beneficiaries. See 10-year rule, later, for more information.

Is the IRS forgiving debt in 2023? ›

What is the IRS Forgiveness Program? 2023 Updates. Certain taxpayers in the United States who cannot afford to pay their tax liability due to financial hardship may qualify for tax debt relief under the IRS Forgiveness Program.

What if you owe the IRS over $100 000? ›

Owing over $100,000 in taxes can be terrifying. If you don't take any action, the IRS will issue a tax lien, and you will lose your passport. The agency may also garnish your wages, seize your bank account, and start levying your assets.

What is the IRS Fresh Start Program 2023? ›

What is the IRS Fresh Start Program? The IRS Fresh Start Program is designed to help taxpayers who have accumulated a substantial federal tax debt that exceeds their capacity to pay. By applying and meeting eligibility criteria, taxpayers can substantially decrease their outstanding federal tax liabilities.

Can the IRS take money from your bank account? ›

It can garnish wages, take money in your bank or other financial account, seize and sell your vehicle(s), real estate and other personal property. If you receive an IRS bill titled Final Notice of Intent to Levy and Notice of Your Right to A Hearing, contact us right away.

How much money can you take out without reporting to IRS? ›

If you withdraw $10,000 or more, federal law requires the bank to report it to the IRS in an effort to prevent money laundering and tax evasion. Few, if any, banks set withdrawal limits on a savings account.

How much does the IRS not collect? ›

The average gross tax gap was estimated at $441 billion per year based on data from those three years. After late payments and enforcement efforts were factored in, the net tax gap was estimated at $381 billion.

What does non collectible tax debt mean? ›

Currently Not Collectible IRS Debt (CNC) refers to debt that is deemed uncollectible by the IRS. If you owe more money than you can afford to pay each month, you may qualify to file under the IRS's “currently not collectible” status. This means that you cannot be sued by the IRS for unpaid tax debt.

What happens to uncashed IRS refund checks? ›

If the check wasn't cashed, you'll receive a replacement check once the original check is canceled. If the refund check was cashed, the Bureau of the Fiscal Service (BFS) will provide you with a claim package that includes a copy of the cashed check.

What happens to unclaimed IRS refunds? ›

The IRS is required to keep the filing open and hold on to unclaimed income tax refunds for three years. If you don't file for the tax refund after three years, the money becomes property of the US Treasury, and you won't be able to get it back.

How do I find out if I have non IRS debt? ›

Not all debts are subject to a tax refund offset. To determine whether an offset will occur on a debt owed (other than federal tax), contact BFS's TOP call center at 800-304-3107 (800-877-8339 for TTY/TDD help).

Can the IRS take back money from your bank account? ›

An IRS levy permits the legal seizure of your property to satisfy a tax debt. It can garnish wages, take money in your bank or other financial account, seize and sell your vehicle(s), real estate and other personal property.

What is an uncashed refund? ›

Unclaimed property tax refunds consist of warrants (checks) that remain uncashed for a period of more than six months, usually resulting from warrants that are returned as undeliverable by the postal service. Often the payee has moved and does not leave a forwarding address or the forwarding order has expired.

Can I cash a IRS check after a year? ›

Can't deposit or cash an old refund check. Refund checks are good for a year from the issue date. If it's been more than a year, you must send us a request to receive a new check.

How long does IRS have to collect money you owe? ›

Internal Revenue Code section 6502 provides that the length of the period for collection after assessment of a tax liability is 10 years. The collection statute expiration ends the government's right to pursue collection of a liability. The period for collection expires 90 days after the date specified in the waiver.

Does IRS forgive tax debt after 10 years? ›

Yes, after 10 years, the IRS forgives tax debt.

After this time period, the tax debt is considered "uncollectible". However, it is important to note that there are certain circumstances, such as bankruptcy or certain collection activities, which may extend the statute of limitations.

Does IRS collections affect your credit? ›

Does the IRS Report to Credit Bureaus? The IRS does not report your tax debt directly to consumer credit bureaus now or in the past. In fact, laws protect your tax return information from disclosure by the IRS to third parties (see the Taxpayer Bill of Rights).

Can you get IRS refund after 3 years? ›

By law, they only have a three-year window from the original due date, normally the April deadline, to claim their refunds. Some people may choose not to file a tax return because they didn't earn enough money to be required to file. Generally, they won't receive a penalty if they are owed a refund.

Can I claim a tax refund from 5 years ago? ›

Statute of limitations

SOL is a time limit imposed by law on the right of taxpayers to file a claim for refund. 4 years after the original return due date . If you filed before the due date , you have 4 years from the original return due date to file a claim. If you filed after the extension, the return is late.

How do I claim my old tax refund? ›

If it's been under a year since your refund was issued, you can request that the IRS reissue it by using the IRS's unclaimed refund database. For your protection, you must provide your Social Security number, filing status and the amount of your refund. There you'll update your address if needed.


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