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Published:   |   Last Updated: September 21, 2023

Letter 3886

Special Condition Notice of Federal Tax Lien Filing – Taxpayer

The IRS has filed a Notice of Federal Tax Lien (NFTL) against a third party the IRS has identified as your nominee or alter ego for the unpaid balances located on the Form 668(Y)(c) enclosed with the letter.

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Letter Overview

You have a balance on your tax account which you have not paid and the IRS has filed a public document, the Notice of Federal Tax Lien (NFTL), with the local and/or state authorities to alert creditors that the government has a right to your interests in property specified in the notice or if none is specified all of your property being held in the name of the third party named in the notice.. 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. See Form 668 (Y) (C) for more information.

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?

  • The balance must be paid immediately to stop other collection actions.
  • The NFTL is a public record that can affect you and your property and assets. 

How did I get here?

A third party has been identified as your nominee or alter ego in the letter 3886 has and you have a tax a tax balance which has not been paid. 

When the IRS isn’t paid, they can file a public document with the local and/or state authorities. 

When the IRS files this special NFTL, it alerts creditors you are associated with the nominee and/or alter ego and you owe the government. 

The NFTL secures the priority of the government’s claim to the property specified on the notice, if none is specified, then all your property that is being held in the name of the nominee and/or alter ego is secured by the lien.

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 filing of this NFTL you can 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 CAP process. 


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 & Forms


Where am I in the tax system?

Special Condition Notice of Federal Tax Lien Filing – Taxpayer , Letter 3886