Remove a IRS tax lien off your credit report in 10 STEPS

Remove a IRS tax lien off your credit report in 10 STEPS

From a Credit Guy Fan Whizzy

I thought I’d add a few comments for removing a PAID tax lien from your credit report instead of waiting 7 yrs for it to age off. I just went through this process and the lien has been completely deleted from our credit reports so I know it works.
1) We finished paying off our taxes per our installment agreement with the IRS.
2) Received IRS form 668(Z), Release of Federal Tax Lien, automatically from IRS once they processed our final payment.
3) Located IRS form 668(Y), Notice of Federal Tax Lien, sent to us when the IRS initially filed the lien with our county. This is crucial as Dave mentions in this video because it has the serial number of your original case file with the courts. If you don’t have it, go to the IRS first, then the courts as Dave mentions.
4) Located IRS form 12277 online and filled it out. Made sure that I checked the box indicating that the request was in the best interest of the government and the taxpayer.
5) Located and printed a copy of the notice from the IRS Newsroom dated 2/24/2011 in relation to the IRS’s new policy to withdraw paid tax liens
6) I wrote a cover letter including who, what, when, and why in relation to our request for the tax lien to be withdrawn, including a list of the 3 credit reporting agencies we wanted to be notified. I made sure to note both my SSN # and my spouse’s SSN # because the tax lien shows up on both our credit reports.
7) I enclosed the IRS form 12277, copies of IRS forms 668(Y) and 668(Z), and a copy of the IRS newsroom document from 2/24/11.
8) In about 2-3 weeks, we received IRS form 10916(c), Withdrawal of Filed Notice of Federal Tax Lien. This was our golden ticket!!
9) Although I asked the credit bureaus to be contacted, my local IRS office (Denver) indicated that they normally don’t do that. The information is deleted from the county records and the credit reporting agencies normally just pull from there so I did one more step as follows to expedite the process and make sure it was done.
10) We each contacted the 3 credit bureaus, disputed the lien, and provided a copy of IRS form 10916(c) that we received from the IRS in step 8 above. The credit bureaus verified the information and voila… the lien was completely deleted from our credit reports as if they never existed in the first place.

You can also fax the 12277 form in as well. See this web page to see what office you need to send it to. Also includes fax numbers.

Woo hoo!! Refinance here we come… hopefully with a better FICO score.

How to REMOVE a tax lien from your credit report.

How to REMOVE a tax lien from your credit report.
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How to REMOVE a tax lien from your credit report.

A first hand IRS tax lien story of success, how to remove a tax lien off your credit report.

I went to the Detroit IRS office and asked some questions…

REMOVE an IRS tax lien off your credit report
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REMOVE an IRS tax lien off your credit report I went to the Detroit IRS office and asked some questions…

Click here for the official IRS TAX Lien announcement


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88 responses to “Remove a IRS tax lien off your credit report in 10 STEPS”

  1. grateful says:

    THANK YOU !!!! So glad I found this. You have helped me
    enormously !

  2. Paul says:

    What would be an effective statement for Item#12 “Explain the basis for the withdraw request?

  3. Jenn says:

    Dave I have a question for you. I have my form 668z which you know is my certificate of release. Do I contact the IRS for a copy of the original 668y? Then file both of them together with form 12277? PLEASE HELP ME!

  4. Terrance says:

    What if your tax lien is from the state? Not federal tax lien. Is there a form that you need to fill out? Or are these the same steps to get that removed also?

  5. Terrance says:

    My tax lien is an irs tax lien. It was just given by the state instead of federal.

  6. Sully says:

    Interesting Terrance,

    Then the same rules apply use the forms listed in the video and it should be removed. but I am not sure how this wrinkle will impact the removal, but is is very cheep to find out… please let me know how you do.

  7. Terrance says:

    Ok Thanks

  8. Dan says:

    I have 3 liens that need to be removed…Ive been paying on them for over 6 yrs and the statute is about to run on one of them. My question is that if I file a 12277 to have liens removed will they issue a new lien with a new processing date and therefore making the statue that much longer??

  9. Vincent Seelan says:

    My Problem is I do not have a Tax Lien, but for some reason everytime my Credit check is done it always shows I have a CA State Tax Lien filed on me. Can you please help me on how to remove it.


  10. cindy says:

    What would be an effective statement for Item#12 “Explain the basis for the withdraw request?
    i didnt see a reply to this question i apologize if i missed it.

  11. Lynn says:


  12. Jeannie says:

    What is a proper response, wording, sample letter to question 12 on the form 12277?

  13. Jordan says:

    I first sent the Credit Reporting agencies my 668Z to show the Lien Paid in Full? Or will this show up and stay on my Reports after I receive (hopefully) the “Withdrawal”? or would the Lien Paid in Full notations on the credit reports be removed as well? Obviously I want no mention of any Liens on my Credit Report. BTW, the Notice of Lien was filed after the IRS agent setting up my Installment Agreement on the phone insisted NO LIEN would be filed!

    • Sully says:

      You have to make the request with the IRS to get it removed. Then go to the bureaus with that documentation. Otherwise, it will show a paid tax lien for the next 7-10 years on your report. After 2-3 years it will have only a small impact on your credit score though. Any chance you could go back to the same IRS agent?

  14. Paul says:

    How long does it take to receive the copy of form 10916? I received the approval letter from the IRS January 31 and still have not received the copy of the withdrawal form?

  15. Michael says:

    From the date I sent the form in until I got the Form 10916 A (today) was a total of 20 days!

  16. Martha says:

    What if you paid your tax lien in full and not an installment? Will this still work?

  17. Jeff G says:

    I received the 10916 in the mail today. It took 5 weeks from the date that I mailed the request.

    When I contacted the IRS agent to get a copy of the 668Y, they were able to do it over the phone. The agent agreed to fax it to me. What I received was another copy of the form 668Z. I decided to try sending just that form with the request, and it worked. I think that gave them enough to go on.

    Now on to the credit bureaus…

  18. Julie says:

    Thank you so much for this valuable information. I received my 668Z last Tuesday and followed your directions in regard to the 12277 application. I mailed and faxed over 2 applications with my release last Wednesday, June 12th and received approval letters for BOTH applications in the mail Tuesday, June 18th!!! The letters said my 10916(c) is on it’s way 🙂 I’m so happy and so thankful you put this information out here! I didn’t even know I could have the slate wiped completely clean! THANK YOU!!!!

  19. jeff says:

    I received my 10916 withdrawal form, ready to send a copy to the 3 bureaus, do I just send right to the PO Box address that each agency lists on their website contact info?

  20. Diane says:

    This is so so so very helpful! I just reached a settlement agreement with the IRS. I have had a tax lien on my credit report for 2 years; once I have the IRS documents acknowledging an agreement, do you know if submitting the agreement to the credit agencies will help my score? The installment agreement is for an additional year.

  21. Max Fritts says:

    I have a state tax lien against me in the state of Georgia from the yr of 2007… if I don’t pay it will it be gone off my credit report in 2014? Please reply…I really need help with this.thank you,

    • Sully says:

      State Tax Liens are different by state. some will stay on forever some will fall off in the normal 7 year process.. you have to check with the state.. from a score perspective it is not hurting you that much because it is so old so it comes back to what are your goals for your credit ?

  22. Elizabeth latiolais says:

    Does this work if it has been released due to statue of limitations ran out.

  23. David says:

    I have filed chapter 7 and have had most of the past IRS debt discharged and would like to know if the lien can be removed or released. Thank you in advance.

  24. Barbara says:

    Hello! I am so impressed with all of your info. Here is my problem. In June of this year the IRS put a lien on our business. We have the funds to pay it but have been told that it can not come off of the clerks record. I live in Volusia County Florida. As much as I don’t want the business name there it also has it listed as the owners name and then the business. Just need to remove the owners name or both if possible. Like I said the lien was placed in June and I am planning the pay off tomorrow. ($72K)

    • Sully says:


      They are correct It will not be removed off the clerk’s record but If it is a IRS federal tax lien then IT can be removed from the credit report. just follow the steps in the video and you will be fine. If you are paying tomorrow ask them for the 688Y form.

      You can do it !


  25. Reneth says:

    Thank you so much Dave! This helped my wife out greatly! This the 3 third year since my wife’s Tax lien was paid in full and we wanted to refi our mortgage at a lower interest rate and would have had to wait for 7 more years. Thanks to your instructions, we received a letter from the IRS today approving the withdrawal.

  26. David says:

    This process does work. My Experian score went up 128 Pts! when the lien was removed. Great information!

  27. Eric says:

    IRS Fresh Start Question

    I followed your instructions on filing for withdrawal of a tax lien; however, the IRS responded stating that I do not qualify because the two liens are in an active ch. 13 bankruptcy. I am 3.5 years into a 5 year plan. I did not see any documentation on the IRS site stating that would disqualify me?

  28. Peggy says:

    I have done this, sent it to the Taxpayer Advocate but they knew nothing of this, I even sent them the IRS news release and they would not do it. Is there another address the information is to be sent to?

    • Sully says:


      This is the first time I have heard of this, be sure to mention the Fresh Start Program when you go to another tax office.

      Keep fighting


  29. Evelyn says:

    I’m currently awaiting my Form 10916, didn’t know about this website though. Has anyone seen a drastic change in their credit scores after submitting this to the credit bureaus? If so, by how many points were you affected?

  30. Gary says:

    Ok I have the form 668(z)copy that was filed by the IRS . I had to go and get a copy from the Recorders office. So therefore it is no longer on public record. Now can I just dispute the the tax lien and have the credit reporting agency remove it from my credit report once they see that it is no longer on record. Or do i still have to show them proof.

  31. Gary says:

    How should the letter to the Credit reporting agencies to remove the tax lien read? Thanks for all help

  32. CruiseChristopher says:

    You can have a federal tax lien removed even before the tax debt is paid in full, so long as you have entered into a payment arrangement.

  33. My local court house will not delete lien even with a withdraw letter from IRS. Is this wright?

  34. Mr Allan says:

    I have everything ready to send but not sure where ( address ) should the 12277 and attached documents with form be sent. I live in FL – Please advise

  35. donna says:

    I see you have credit karma listed to as to where you would get your score and public information. Once these information is removed from public records this tax lien should not appear on Credit Karma or credit bureaus. My question is Credit Karma goes through Trans Union etc to get there info. But trans union score is like 44 points different than Credit Karma. Credit Karma is higher. Why? And they have yet to be removed from credit report.

    Why such a difference in Credit Karma and Trans unions score. and how do we get it those debts removed form Credit Karma?
    Thanks Donna

  36. craig says:

    What should I put down in #12 explain the basis for the withdrawal…..????

  37. Amy says:

    What is the address I need to mail these documents to?

  38. Sircnawsnaws says:

    I have had a federal tax lien released, then withdrawn. Even after some months, that lien is listed as “released” with the L.A. Recorders Office. Am I supposed to do something to have that updated to “withdrawn”?

    L.A. Recorder has no email or phone number with clerks, I believe. Frustrating.

    Do I need to pay some kind of fee?

  39. D berry says:

    Is it mandatory for the CRAs to delete the lien from your report or merely report it as withdrawn after the IRS has withdrawn it and you have informed them

    • Sully says:

      The fresh start program will allow you to have the lien removed from your report like it was never there. once you get the IRS to agree to have it removed you should follow up with the repositories watch the video interview with Michael.

  40. Susan says:

    We have received a notice of withdrawl of FTL. It has come off all three credit bureaus on my report and 2 credit bureaus on my husband. It remains on his Equifax report. We have initiated a dispute twice with Equifax and sent the withdrawl notice and both times they have refused to remove it. They say iys being reported correctly when it is officially withdrawn from the irs per notice 10916-A. What is the next step. Thank you

  41. Colleen says:

    I applied for the Fresh start Program and was awarded it. The IRS mailed me Form 10916A Withdrawal of Filed Notice of Federal Tax Lien After Release. I’m in the process of contacting all three credit bureaus, but I notice in my county public records it still shows the liens, releases, and now the withdrawal. I thought the liens would be expunged from my record?

  42. Trish says:

    Dave This really is awesome information!

    Do I really need a copy of 668Y? I can’t find it and I have already received 668z.

    Thank you

  43. Noel Cook says:


    My county is refusing to delete the tax lien from my record after they have been sent the withdrawal notice. Is there any recourse?

  44. bettie andrews says:

    my wife was looking for ATF 4 (5320.4) several days ago and came across a document management site that has lots of fillable forms . If you are looking for ATF 4 (5320.4) also , here’s a

  45. Heida Harris says:

    Dave, I followed your instructions, sent the IRS form 12277 and received a letter stating they were unable to complete my request due to a large volume of inventory. I’m trying to purchase a home, is there anyway to accelerate the 90 day wait time in order to improve my credit score?

    • Rajwant Kaur Sidhu says:

      That is the first I have heard of a 90 day wait. if they are that backed up then work on the 6 steps wile you wait. You can’t rush the IRS.

      • Joe says:

        Just wanrted to say the same thing happened to me. I mailed my form 12277 on 6/27/16. Received a letter on 8/2/16 saying “Due to a large volume of inventory we are unable to complete our review at this time. We will contact you again within 90 days with a response to your inquiry….” I decided this didn’t work for me, so I prayed about it and called the “if you have questions, call us” number. I had to select prompt #1 for “lien filed in error or something like that (the other prompts gave an automated message). I had to wait about 15 mintues or so for someone to pick up but she verified my identity and I explained that I had sent form 12277. She looked it up and immediately told me your lien was withdrawn on 8/30 and I would receive a letter within 2 weeks. She also told me the court would receive a copy and if I requested a copy be sent to the CRA they would receive it as well. THank God!

  46. Artie says:

    My wife and I have two liens each. All are well past statute of limitations, Lien #1 is identical for both of us, lien #2 has identical amounts, however origination dates are almost two years apart but both have the same SOL dates.T he liens were a result of business trust fund and when business went down we were the responsible party, under civil penalties. How can we get these removed so our house can be used as a financial tool.

  47. maryann says:

    what is the fax number for sending form 12277

  48. John says:

    I finally received a 4711 Letter granting withdrawal approval(after filing 12277 and filing a Form 9423. I went onto the county clerk of courts official records and seen(and printed) a copy of the IRS filed 10916 Withdrawal. Is this the 10916(c) everyone is referring to? As I have not received this(Mailed) directly yet from the IRS, they have only recorded and filed it officially to courthouse for record. Can I print this and use this 10916 to send along with a drafted letter to all 3 Credit Bureaus to withdraw my NFTL record they have on my credit report?

  49. Polly says:

    We have received form 10916-A (not C) from the IRS and sent this to Experian to remove the lien from our report – does the Withdrawal After Release (10916-A) also take care of getting it removed? I spoke to an Experian agent and he said they only remove it if it was on your report in error. (we are currently in dispute with them.)

  50. Pat says:

    I have a IRS lien (unpaid) where the SOL expires in May 2017. I called the IRS about getting a release/withdrawal. They told me they do not issue releases or withdrawals for unpaid liens after the SOL expires. I was told to submit my form 668(Y) to the credit bureau which contains “self-releasing” language and the bureau will remove the lien from the report if the lien is not refiled as stated in the information on the form.

    The “self-releasing” language on 668(Y) says, “IMPORTANT RELEASE INFORMATION: For each assessment listed below, unless the lien is refiled by the date given in column (e), this notice shall, on the day following such date, operate as a certificate of release as defined in IRC 6325(a).”

    Have you heard this being effective for the credit bureau to remove the lien from the report?

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