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Published:   |   Last Updated: September 21, 2023

Notice of Federal Tax Lien Relief

When there is a Notice of Federal Tax Lien (NFTL) filed, there are various options for relief depending on your circumstances.

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Station Overview

The Notice of Federal Tax Lien (NFTL) can affect or harm taxpayers in different ways. There are different types of lien relief that can help.

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 IRS has filed a NFTL for unpaid tax balances. Paying the tax balance in full can stop other collection actions. The NFTL is a public record that can affect your property and assets.

For more information, refer to Publication 594, The IRS Collection Process.

How did I get here?

When you don’t pay your taxes, the IRS can file a public document 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.

What are my next steps?

  • If your taxes are paid, the time to collect has ended, or you post a bond to full pay the taxes, and the NFTL is causing you harm, then you can request a Certificate of Release of the Federal Tax Lien. See Release Certificate of Release of the Federal Tax Lien for more information.of the NFTL 
  • If your taxes aren’t paid, and a recorded NFTL is harming you, then you can apply for the withdrawal of a filed NFTL. See Applying for Withdrawal of a Filed Notice of Federal Tax LienWithdrawalof the NFTL for more information. 
  • You can apply for a Certificate of Discharge when you are trying to sell specific property like your house, a boat, or other property, and the NFTL is holding up the sale. The discharge will remove the NFTL from the property so it can be sold. See Discharge Applying for a Certificate of Discharge of Property from the Federal Tax Lien for more information. of the NFTL 
  • You can apply for a Certificate of Subordination when you want to move a bank or financing company ahead of the IRS’ NFTL priority. Subordination is used when you want to refinance your mortgage, or you want to factor your businesses accounts receivables. See Applying for a Certificate of Subordination of the Federal Tax Lien.Subordination of the NFTL 
  • You can apply for a Certificate of Non-Attachment when you’rer named on a NFTL, but you don’t owe the tax. This happens when you have the same or similar name of another taxpayer who owes. A spouse may also be named on a NFTL, but they don’t owe the tax. The certificate of non-attachment lets third parties know you don’t owe the tax. See How to Apply for a Certificate of Non-Attachment of the Federal Tax Lien for more information. 

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.

Additional Contact Information

  • Centralized Lien Operation: To resolve basic and routine lien issues: verify a lien, request lien payoff amount, or release a lien, call 800-913-6050 or fax 855-753-8177.
  • Collection Advisory Group: For all complex lien issues, including discharge, subordination, subrogation or withdrawal; find contact information for your local advisory office in Publication 4235, Collection Advisory Group Addresses.
  • Under certain circumstances you may be able to appeal the filing of a Notice of Federal Tax Lien. For more information, see Publication 1660.
  • Centralized Insolvency Operation: If you are questioning whether your bankruptcy has changed your tax debt, call 800-973-0424.
  • Contact the IRS:

Related Notices and Letters


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