Popular search terms:
Published:   |   Last Updated: September 5, 2023

Balance Paid

View our interactive tax map to see where you are in the tax process. It could help you navigate your way through the IRS.

Show on Roadmap
Taxpayer Roadmap with folded image in front

Station Overview

When federal tax is full paid or satisfied, the IRS stops all collection efforts.

This notice or letter may include additional topics that have not yet been covered here. Please check back frequently for updates.

What does this mean to me?

If you owed federal taxes and the IRS filed a Notice of Federal Tax Lien (NFTL) with local and/or state authorities, when the balance is full paid, then the lien is generally released automatically (self-released). 

  • When the lien is released, IRS files a certificate of release in public records. This is to alert creditors the balance is no longer due. 

How did I get here?

You owed federal taxes and you full paid or satisfied the debt, or the time the IRS had to collect has expired. 

  • The tax can be satisfied by full payment, completion of an Offer in Compromise, or the IRS has accepted a bond in exchange for the release.
  • The time the IRS can collect is generally 10-years from the date a tax was assessed and is called the Collection Statute Expiration Date. It can be longer if the IRS is prohibited by law to collect or is permitted by law to add time to the 10-years. When the time the IRS can collect has ended, the IRS can no longer legally collect the tax. 

What are my next steps?


Proof of Balance Paid

If you need proof you have full paid your balance, you can order a transcript or access your Online Account. 


If you believe you overpaid your taxes

You can file a claim for refund by submitting Form 843, Claim for Refund and Request for Abatement. For more information, see Publication 556, Examination of Returns, Appeal Rights, and Claims for Refund. Make sure you file your refund claim timely. 


If you need a certificate of lien release

If it has been more than 30-days since the balance was full paid, contact the IRS Centralized Lien Office by calling 800913-6050 or e-fax 855-390-3530 to request a copy of the lien release. 

If you want a copy of the lien release and it has been less than 30-days since the balance was full paid, you must make the request in writing and mail it to the Collection Advisory Group in your area.  

  • See Publication 1450, Instructions for Requesting a Certificate of Release of Federal Tax Lien, for more information. 
  • See Publication 4235, Collection Advisory Group Addresses. 

If you need a lien withdrawn after the tax is paid

View Notice Online:

View your federal tax records and manage your communication preferences online

Sign in to your Online Account to:

  • Make payments
  • Go paperless for certain notices
  • Get email notifications for new notices

Where can I get additional help?

Understanding your notice or letter

Get Help topics

Browse common tax issues and situations at TAS Get Help

If you still need help

The Taxpayer Advocate Service is an independent organization within the IRS that helps taxpayers and protects taxpayers’ rights. We can offer you help if your tax problem is causing a financial difficulty, you’ve tried and been unable to resolve your issue with the IRS, or you believe an IRS system, process, or procedure just isn’t working as it should. If you qualify for our assistance, which is always free, we will do everything possible to help you.

Visit www.taxpayeradvocate.irs.gov or call 1-877-777-4778.

Low Income Taxpayer Clinics (LITCs) are independent from the IRS and TAS. LITCs represent individuals whose income is below a certain level and who need to resolve tax problems with the IRS. LITCs can represent taxpayers in audits, appeals, and tax collection disputes before the IRS and in court. In addition, LITCs can provide information about taxpayer rights and responsibilities in different languages for individuals who speak English as a second language. Services are offered for free or a small fee. For more information or to find an LITC near you, see the LITC page on the TAS website or Publication 4134, Low Income Taxpayer Clinic List.

Related Letters & Forms

  • Form 668 (Y)(C), Notice of Federal Tax Lien 
  • Form 10916-A, Withdrawal of Filed Notice of Federal Tax Lien after Release 
  • Form 12277, Application for Withdrawal of Filed Form 668(Y) Notice of Federal Tax Lien (as based on Internal Revenue Code Section 6323(j)