IRS Statute of Limitations – Tax Statutes are 3-Years, 6-Years or More
IRS Statute of Limitations: The time for the IRS to audit your tax returns, and collect your money can vary. Generally, the Internal Revenue Services’ civil Statutes of Limitation range from 3-years to 6-Years and in some cases, much longer than that. The IRS Statute of Limitations may impact refunds, collections, amended returns, failure-to-file, penalties, and amnesty.
The facts and circumstances of your particular situation will impact the length of the time the Internal Revenue Service has to go after you. Our Board-Certified Tax Law Specialist team will explain the basics of how the IRS Statute of Limitations works.
- 1 Tax Statute of Limitations
- 2 IRS Audit Statute of Limitations
- 3 IRS Statute of Limitations on Collections
- 4 3-Year Statute of Limitations
- 5 5-Year Statute of Limitations
- 6 6-Year Statute of Limitations
- 7 IRS Tax Lien Statute of Limitations
- 8 IRS Statute of Limitation (Failure to File)
- 9 IRS Statute of Limitations after Death
- 10 Unreported Foreign or Domestic Income
- 11 Golding & Golding, A PLC
Tax Statute of Limitations
There are many different IRS statute of limitations. The typical statutes of limitations vary from 3-years, to 6-years and even a “forever” statute in some cases of Civil Tax Fraud. Criminal statutes generally last 5-years.
IRS Audit Statute of Limitations
The IRS usually has 3-years to audit you. The 3-years starts from when you file your tax returns, but not if you file early. For example: Your 2018 taxes are due 4/15/2019. You file on 3/1/2019 — the IRS has until 4/15/2022 to audit you.
*If you file late, the clock does not start ticking until you file.
IRS Statute of Limitations on Collections
The general rule on collection is 10-Years for the IRS to collect, unless they reduce the collection to a judgment, and then they can renew the judgment every 10-years — and try to enforce it in other states via a sister state judgment.
3-Year Statute of Limitations
Most IRS statutes are 3-years. As stated above, the 3-years starts from when you file your tax returns, but not if you file early.
5-Year Statute of Limitations
This is a statute more common in criminal tax matters. Since evidence disappears over-time and memories fade, the general statute of limitations in criminal cases is 5-years.
The 6-year statute is usually used in two main situations:
- Substantial Underreporting
- More than $5,000 of unreported foreign income generated from certain assets
IRS Tax Lien Statute of Limitations
When the IRS pursues a tax lien, the Internal Revenue Service has 10-years to collection (although certain exceptions, exclusions, and limitations do apply).
IRS Statute of Limitation (Failure to File)
If a person does not file a tax return (aka Failure-to-File) the statute of limitations does not begin to run.
IRS Statute of Limitations after Death
The general rule is 10-years to collect/
Unreported Foreign or Domestic Income
If you either filed a tax return incorrectly (excluding U.S. or Foreign income) and/or never filed a return, it is important that you consider proactively getting into IRS compliance before it is too late. There are various Voluntary Disclosure/Tax Amnesty programs available to individuals, businesses, and trusts that are out of compliance.
Golding & Golding, A PLC
We have successfully represented clients in more than 1,000 streamlined and voluntary disclosure submissions nationwide and in over 70-different countries.
We are the “go-to” firm for other Attorneys, CPAs, Enrolled Agents, Accountants, and Financial Professionals across the globe.