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Q: IRS research ( Answered 4 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: IRS research
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: timot-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 11 Aug 2005 14:48 PDT
Expires: 10 Sep 2005 14:48 PDT
Question ID: 554633
How do you find out if someone owes money to the IRS?

Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 11 Aug 2005 15:25 PDT
In general, you don't...that sort of information is kept private. 
However, if the IRS (or anyone else owed money) has filed a lien
against the debtor, then this would be a matter of public record.

What more would you like to know as an answer to your question?

Clarification of Question by timot-ga on 12 Aug 2005 06:10 PDT
Is there a way to view a persons tax history in order to
dispute/verify a claim from a third party of back taxes owing. Would
this information show up in a credit check if the person in question
has no assets in which to place a lien?
Subject: Re: IRS research
Answered By: taxmama-ga on 24 Aug 2005 04:48 PDT
Rated:4 out of 5 stars
Dear Timot, 

Pafalafa-ga is correct about the lien.

To answer your second question, IRS doesn't file the lien
just when there are visible assets. IRS files the lien because
there is a balance owed. This will show up on the credit report...
though sometimes it takes while to appear.

I am just working on a case where we got all the balance
due information from IRS and they paid it off, only to learn,
after they refinanced their home and used the money to pay
IRS, that there was another lien out there that no one found...
for over $60,000! Even the title company wasn't aware of it.

So, as I may not always make it to the credit report. 

The best way to find out what someone owes to IRS, and if they do?

Have them sign an IRS Form 8821 - Tax Information Authorization

Even then, you have to enter the years - and if you don't know what
years might be in arrears, you could miss the information. 

You could request TXMOD or MFTRA-X reports (see explanation here).

But, again, you need to know the years to see.

Frankly, without the cooperation of the person whose record you
want to see, there's no way to learn if they owe money to IRS -
unless the liens have been filed. 

And thank goodness for some small bit of privacy we've got left!

Best wishes

Your TaxMama-ga
timot-ga rated this answer:4 out of 5 stars
Very helpful

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