- 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
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.
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.
- Learn more about the Board Certified Tax Law Specialist credential
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Sean holds a Master's in Tax Law from one of the top Tax LL.M. programs in the country at the University of Denver. He has also earned the prestigious IRS Enrolled Agent credential. Mr. Golding's articles have been referenced in such publications as the Washington Post, Forbes, Nolo, and various Law Journals nationwide.
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