IRS delinquent taxpayers

Is there a website to look up if someone is delinquent on their Federal income tax?
Wisconsin has one for state taxes.

There’s not. The law provides a very stringent duty on the IRS to keep information about taxpayers secret, so I it would probably be against the law for any such website to exist.

I’m going to ask for a cite on that. If the IRS initiated any kind of proceedings it should be public record like all court proceedings. But I checked under the Federal court System and found nothing. I’m wondering if there is a separate site for tax courts [Federal].

http://www.ustaxcourt.gov/

My previous post notwithstanding, it’s not as if the IRS files suit in tax court against delinquent taxpayers. Tax court is for taxpayers who dispute their tax obligations–the IRS doesn’t need to chase them in court.

For general provisions about a federal agency’s disclosure of info about a citizen, see the Privacy Act at 5 USC 552a.

A more specific rule under 26 USC 6103 forbids the IRS from disclosing “return information,” which is broadly defined to include just about any info about a taxpayer’s tax situation. A listing of each taxpayer against whom a deficiency has been assessed would disclose return information about each such taxpayer and would therefore violate this rule.

Also, Gfactor is right that a deficiency can be assessed against a taxpayer without going to any court (but the taxpayer has the right to go to court if he wants to).

http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode26/usc_sec_26_00006103----000-.html

(Emphasis added) Id.

http://www.gao.gov/archive/1999/a299256t.pdf

This is of interest to me, because a former MA state Senator (Diane Wilkerson) failed to file US federal tax returns for 4 years! (1991-94). Of course, she was a lawyer, and had an excuse (she didn’t realize that she had to). I am continually amazed by how lenient the IRS is, with connected policiticns -you ori would have had a massive fine or jail sentence.

My tax professor noted that the IRS almost never files criminal charges against someone who just doesn’t pay.

That doesn’t mean such people get away with hit–the IRS goes after them for back taxes, penalties, interest, etc, etc (and are very effective in doing so)—however, criminal prosecution for tax is fairly rare–presumably, brought more often for the public impact of the prosecution/those who are openly challenging the tax law.

According to those ads on TV, you can settle for pennies on the dollar!

Thanks to everyone who replied!:slight_smile:

I know for a fact that somebody owes a lot of income tax going back to 1986. The Feds took quite a bit of property and money back then, but they still owe a lot. They own a home and have an income.

The IRS has done nothing to collect the remaining total owed. Why not? There have been no deals made with the IRS.

When this person dies will the Feds take the home?

Eleanor Holmes Norton, the DC delegate to Congress, was discovered to have a similar problem when she was first elected. She skated on charges, and the voters and the press like her, so she’s been re-elected ever since.

Indeed. The Wesley Snipes case was unusual for just that reason. One really has to tick them off to reach that stage of proceedings.

The statute of limitations only permits the IRS to go back seven years. There can be all sorts of reasons why an agency doesn’t go after someone, and it may have nothing to do with the particular person; lack of investigative resources, etc.

10 years.

http://www.wwwebtax.com/audits/statute_of_limitations.htm

Of course if the IRS has filed a tax lien, the story is a bit different.

http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/article/0,,id=108339,00.html#Notice (Emphasis added.)

You can check local property records to see if there is a lien against the property. If there is, the IRS might take the property when the person dies. If the home is owned by a married couple, the law now permits the IRS to lien the interest of one spouse even though the other spouse is not liable for the tax. http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/n-03-60.pdf

That seems unlikely in this case because Wisconsin does not have tenancy by the entireties. http://www.usatoday.com/money/perfi/columnist/block/2003-09-16-block_x.htm ; http://adams.law.ou.edu/olr/articles/vol58/russell582.pdf (see note 7)