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Published:   |   Last Updated: September 12, 2023

Letter 3172

Notice of Federal Tax Lien Filing and Your Right to a Hearing Under IRC 6320

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Letter Overview

The IRS has filed a Notice of Federal Tax Lien (NFTL) for the unpaid balances located on the Form 668(Y)(c) enclosed with the letter.

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?

  • You need to pay the balance(s) identified in the letter immediately to stop other collection actions.
  • The NFTL is a public record that can affect you and your property and assets.
  • An unpaid tax debt when a NFTL is filed can affect your ability to travel in or out of the United States.

How did I get here?

You have a balance due on your tax account which you have not paid. When you don’t pay your taxes, the IRS can file a public document, an NFTL, with the local and/or state authorities. When the NFTL is filed, it alerts creditors you owe the government unpaid taxes.

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.

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.
  • If you disagree with the IRS filing a NFTL, you can request a CDP or Equivalent Hearing using the Form 12153, Request for Collection Due Process or Equivalent Hearing. See Publication 1660, Collection Appeal Rights, for a full explanation of the CDP process.
  • You may also request a conference with the IRS Independent Office of Appeals using the Form 9423, Collection Appeal Request.

The NFTL is released when: the balance is full paid, the time when the IRS can collect has expired, or the IRS accepts an offer in compromise.

Where can I get additional help?

Understanding your notice or letter

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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
  • Letter 3171, Notice of Additional NFTL Filing (Notice of Federal Tax Lien Filing and Your Right to a Hearing Under IRC 6320
  • Publication 1450, Instructions on How to Request a Certificate of Release of Federal Tax Lien

Where am I in the tax system?

Notice of Federal Tax Lien Filing and Your Right to a Hearing Under IRC 6320, Letter 3172