The Collection Statute Expiration Date (CSED)-also known as the Collection Statue of Limitations-is the date by which the IRS has to collect any outstanding tax liability (debt). Thereafter, the tax debt expires and the IRS can no longer collect the owed taxes, or enforce collection efforts against you to collect the debt. If you have multiple years' worth of tax debt, each year will have its own CSED, unless all the tax returns were assessed at the same time.
The CSED is 10 years from the date on which the tax debt was assessed. "Assessed" means the date on which the review of your tax return was finalized and an outstanding balance was calculated by the IRS and entered into its system.
When the Collection Statute of Expiration Date can be extended
It's important to know that any of the following will "toll" (extend) the CSED on your tax debt.
- Waiver/extension. If you sign a waiver of statute of limitations, the CSED will be extended by a maximum of 5 years. The IRS is limited to asking taxpayers for this waiver unless it is in conjunction with an Installment Agreement. The IRS must also notify you of your right to refuse to extend the date.
- Absence from country. The CSED will be extended if you leave the country for more than 6 months.
- Military deferment. The CSED is tolled during military service and for an additional 270 days after.
- Bankruptcy. If you file for bankruptcy, the CSED will be extended for the duration of the bankruptcy proceedings on nondischargeable tax liabilities, plus 6 month. Duration of the bankruptcy proceedings extends from the date you filed for bankruptcy to the date the bankruptcy is discharged or dismissed. It does not include tax debt that is discharged in the bankruptcy.
- Taxpayer Assistance Order. If you file an application for assistance from the Problem Resolution Office, the CSED will be extended for the duration the application is under consideration.
- Collection Due Process (CDP) Appeal. If you appeal a collection action (e.g. filing of lien, levy by a lender), CSED is extended for the duration of the appeal.
- Offer in Compromise (OIC). When you file an Offer in Compromise, the CSED is extended for its duration, plus thirty 30 days.
Additionally, the IRS can extend the CSED by filing a lawsuit. If the IRS initiates a lawsuit prior to the CSED to secure a court-ordered judgment on your tax debt, the statute of limitations will be extended to the same date as other judgment liens in the jurisdiction in which the judgment is rendered. Note that many jurisdictions allow judgments to be perpetually renewed; currently, this is a very rare procedure.
Determining Your Collection Statute of Expiration Date
If you have old tax debts, you are probably curious about when they will expire. Luckily, you can ask the IRS for the CSED of each and every tax liability, and the IRS is required by law to provide the information. Contact the IRS at 800-829-1040 to ask about your debt's expiration date.
However, if you have received a tax-debt notice or levy from the IRS, the IRS may transfer you to the Automated Collection Service. If that is the case, it is better to contact your professional tax preparer or a professional tax debt resolution firm to get the CSED for each tax debt. You can also contact the IRS Taxpayer Advocate for assistance in acquiring updated tax debt and CSED information.
IRS CSED number: 800-829-1040
(to inquire about your tax debt expiration date)