As Benjamin Franklin said: “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”  So, the simple answer about the IRS hounding you is that the IRS will not stop hounding you for tax revenue while you are alive – and maybe sometimes when you are dead.  The real concern for most people is when will the IRS no longer be in the rear-view mirror for past taxes paid. Invariably, when I meet with a prospective client, I will eventually hear from them: “How much time does the IRS have to collect on a tax debt?”  The question they are really asking is: “What is the statute of limitations imposed by the IRS on my tax debt?”  The answer is: “Its complicated.”

When I reference a statute of limitations, I am referring to a statute prescribing a period of limitation for bringing a certain kind of legal action.  The IRS has 10 years from the date of assessment to collect a tax debt.  For example, if the 2004 tax return was filed on October 1, 2005, and the tax was assessed on October 5, 2005, the IRS would have until October 4, 2015, to collect the tax.

So, how does a taxpayer know the date of assessment?  The date of assessment can be found on the taxpayersAccount Transcripts.” The Account Transcripts include the date the return was received, when the tax was assessed, the penalty and interest charged, and payments received.  Here is the link for you to obtain your Tax Transcript In my next blog I will discuss why the statute of limitations is so important.

Tax problems are legal problems, and we solve both.  If you or someone you know has an issue with paying their federal or state taxes and needs help to end their IRS nightmare, please contact Kent Brown at Strong & Hanni by either phone at (801) 532-7080 or email at: or go to my personal Strong & Hanni webpage at: