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Published:   |   Last Updated: September 7, 2023

Form 668 (Y) (C)

Notice of Federal Tax Lien

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Form Overview

The IRS files the Notice of Federal Tax Lien (NFTL) with local or state authorities to alert creditors you owe the government unpaid taxes.

The notice can be filed in multiple locations and states. When the NFTL is filed you will receive a letter with a copy of the NFTL showing the location(s) and state(s) where it was filed.

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

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What does this mean to me?

 

The NFTL can be filed in multiple locations for the same period.  The IRS will send you a Notice of Your Right to a Collection Due Process Hearing within five business days of the initial filing of the NFTL for a particular tax period.  You’ll then have 30 days (the date will be shown in the notice) to request a Collection Due Process (CDP) hearing with the IRS Independent Office of Appeals (Appeals).  If you disagree with Appeals’ decision, you will have the right to petition the U.S. Tax Court.  See Publication 1660, Collection Appeal Rights, for further information on the CDP process.

If you do not timely request a CDP hearing, you can still request an Equivalent Hearing by filing Form 12153  within one year of the day after the five-business-day period following the NFTL filing .  If you disagree with Appeals’ decision, you will not have the right to petition the U.S. Tax Court.

At CDP and Equivalent Hearings, you may raise many issues including proposing an alternative way to pay your debt, such as through an installment agreement or offer in compromise, and in certain instances, to contest the existence or amount of the tax.

You may request a conference through the Collection Appeals Program (CAP) either before or after the IRS files an NFTL.  Unlike with a CDP hearing, you cannot petition the U.S. Tax Court if you disagree with Appeals’ decision.  See Publication 1660, Collection Appeal Rights, for a full explanation of the CAP.

You can also ask that the IRS manager review your case informally. You can obtain the manager’s name and phone number by contacting the employee listed on your notice.  An IRS employee is required to give you their manager’s name and phone number when requested.

Once a lien arises, the IRS generally can’t release it until you’ve paid the tax, penalties, interest, and recording fees in full or until the IRS is no longer legally able to collect the tax.  However, in certain circumstances a lien may be withdrawn, discharged, or subordinated.  Visit Liens on TAS Get Help for further information.


  • You need to pay the balance(s) identified in the notice immediately to stop other collection actions.
  • The NFTL is a public record that can affect you and your property and assets.
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How did I get here?

You have a balance on your tax account which you have not paid.

When you don’t pay your taxes, the IRS can file a public document, the NFTL, with the local and/or state authorities. When the NFTL is filed, it alerts creditors you owe the government.

The NFTL secures the priority of the government’s claim to your current and future property and assets until the balance is paid in full.

While NFTLs no longer appear on credit reports, they may still affect your ability to get credit if a potential creditor uses other resources, such as public records, to discover the NFTL

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What are my next steps?

  • Pay the amount you owe or consider a collection alternative to stop additional collection actions. See payment options for more information.

 

The IRS will issue a Certificate of Lien Release 30 days after either:

  • the full amount, including penalties and interest, is paid,
  • IRS accepts a bond guaranteeing payment of the amount owed,
  • IRS determines the liability is not owed, or the liability has been reduced to zero, or
  • the IRS is no longer legally able to collect the tax.

If you disagree with the IRS filing an NFTL, you can request a Collection Due Process or Equivalent Hearing using a Form 12153, Request for Collection Due Process or Equivalent Hearing.

You may also request a conference with the Office of Appeals using a Form 9423, Collection Appeal Request. See Publication 1660, Collection Appeal Rights, for a full explanation of the conference process.

The IRS has other ways to resolve an NFTL issue. See lien relief, for more information.

 

Where can I get additional help?

Understanding your notice or letter

Get Help topics

Browse common tax issues and situations at Get Help on the Taxpayer Advocate Service’s website

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

  • Letter 3172, Notice of Federal Tax Lien and Your Right to a Hearing Under IRC 6320
  • Letter 3171, Notice of Federal Tax Lien Additional Filing
  • Letter 3886, Special Condition Notice of Federal Tax Lien Filing – Taxpayer
  • Letter 3177, Special Condition Notice of Federal Tax Lien Filing – Third Party
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Where am I in the tax system?

Notice of Federal Tax Lien , Form 668 (Y) (C)