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Can I purchase or lease a new car with a federal tax lien on my credit report?

San Diego, CA |

I have owed almost $60,000 to the IRS for about 5 years. I am on disability and I have no savings or assets that the IRS can take to satisfy the lien. I need a new car. My mother is going to help me with the down payment or lease payment. My question is this: can the IRS take the car if I buy it? Can they take it if I lease it, assuming that I can even qualify for the purchase? I would like to purchase or lease the car before the end of the year. Thank you!

Attorney Answers 3


  1. A Federal Tax Lien will be reported to the Credit Bureau once it is filed by the IRS. A simple credit check pulled by anyone checking your credit will see the Lien on your credit report. It will generally stay on their for 10 years. However, regardless of this you should be apply to apply for credit or purchase/leasing a vehicle. It will be up to the company willing to finance the vehicle if the lien will be an issue in obtaining credit for you. What may be required is a co-signor or some other credit worthy individual to guarantee financing.

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  2. Counsel is correct, a Fed Tax Lien will be reported to The Credit Bureau upon being filed by the IRS.

    Hyde & Swigart is a law firm concentrating its efforts in the area of consumer law, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 U.S.C. §§ 1692 et seq. (“FDCPA”), and California's Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, California Civil Code §§ 1788-1788.32 ("Rosenthal Act"). Our lawyers are specially trained in the Federal FDCPA, Consumer Defense, and other consumer related matters. Our goal is to protect you against unfair, deceptive and abusive debt collection practices. Creditors, professional debt collectors, and attorneys who violate the law are subject to paying damages, statutory penalties, and the consumer's attorneys fees and costs. If you feel you have been abused, deceived or treated unfairly, you may need a lawyer. We can be reached at 619-233-7770, or through one of the evaluation forms on this site.


  3. A tax lien definitely affects your ability to obtain credit. And if you buy it outright, they technically own it and get any proceeds if you later sell the car.

    You should call a tax attorney in your area and look into an Offer in Compromise before you do anything.

    Christopher Larson

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