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  1. I used a CPA to help me catch up and while his fee was rather high, I never got any bad info from the IRS. And he was a bargain compared to those firms that advertise heavily on TV. After the intial bank account levys, I got scared as heck. Not because I owed them as much as they said but that they might attach other assets including my brokerage account and leave me broke. He told me all along that once I catch up, I would get a refund of any overpayments and he was right. At one point, they wanted all kind of personal financial info which I didnt feel comfortable giving them and my CPA made a deal where I would send them $2500 per month until I got up to date but after 1 payment, he filed some kind of "appeal" which kept them from taking further action while I got my act together. That appeal pretty much halted all collection efforts and he said I didnt need to send the $2500 a month anymore and to not to since clearly I would be getting a refund. To be clear, I got a refund because I owed less than they confiscated but I did owe them some. My CPA said we could have fought the IRS and won because they illegally levied my accounts but said it wouldnt be prudent to go to war with the IRS so we didnt pursue it. My issue was didnt even make a reasonable attempt to locate me which is laughable because each of my 1099s had my correct address and my phone # has always been lifted. He fold a court precident where we could have won on that argument but again, my goal was to get caught up and stop them from coming after more assets while i was going that so it wasnt needed. I just recently finished up 2010 (got an extension) and didnt owe any for that year. My bank accounts & brokeage dividends still have backup withholding at 28% as the IRS hasnt yet notified them to stop. Thats not a big deal to me and I assume that will be corrected in the next 3-12 months. But, its just not something worth fighting over because the funds they backup withhold just go toward my future taxes anyway. I would like to be able to "go it alone" in the future via turbo tax or whatever. CPA says I should stay with him but thats his income ! A few people crack on me for letting my taxes get so far behind but those people dont have stock sales. Before I had 1099s, I would often file my taxes within days of getting my w2. The 1099s screw things up. And I seem to get corrected & updated copies of my 1099s several times which only confuses things more. So what I did last year was waited a few months, then had the IRS send me what they had and I went off what they sent me rather than the multiple 1099s my broker sent. Im trying to trade more in my IRA so I dont have to fool with taxes but I still trade in my regular account too. And who knows, with the way the markets been, I may never owe taxes again ! lol I got a couple of those also after I got mine withdrawn. I would have used them but I of course already have Lexington Law on a permanent retainer!!! LOL I worked with the IRS myself but in my case I had paid, actually somewhat overpaid, the taxes I owed. The problem was that I hadn't filed a return so they just added up all the 1099 "income" and classed it fully as regular income when it was cap gains so had to be adjusted for basis and the lower tax rate of cap gains. When all was said and done a high 6 figure lien was released and I got a fat check. I really have no idea how effective law firms are at negotiating things like offers in compromise and such but I do know it would have been a waste to engage them in my case. EtoA: At the time I had no CCs or other credit lines, had no idea what a credit report even was or contained, so I didn't realize the impact of a lien in the future. I was just worried that they might grab my bank accounts or home. Years later I began to understand when debit card usage at hotels and car rentals became more of a problem and I started investigating how credit worked and what CRAs actually kept track of. Funny you should mention getting a check back from them. When I originally "got straight" with the IRS, ie filed for the year they lien(ed) me for, the whole time in talking to them they were all SOL on me (you will not be getting any money back) and by filing my return for the year in question I was not gonna get back any of the dough the took by way of garnishment, 14k. The really dumb thing in me not filing on time was had I done so, I would have gotten back like 4k in a refund!!! So I filed for that year and several others and forgot about it. About 3 months later, I get the mail and there are 2 checks from the IRS, one for 14K and the other for 4k. This despite everything they said about SOL, which it was by like 8 years. You can be sure I did not call to ask them about it... As far as law firms and/or operations like LL, I think unless you cannot read this website, they are quite pointless and useless. Maybe if you had no time to peruse this site or... I am not actually sure what/why but I do know that there are things that they CANNOT do for you. I read some posts over at myfico about people using LL or others of their ilk, WTF, like $85.00 per MONTH or like $500.00 in a lump sum??? Seems sort of pricey to say the very least!!! People get scared and intimidated and, to be fair, it takes some time and effort to go through this stuff for the DIYer. I was pleasantly surprised at how straighforward it was to work with the IRS. They were always polite and professional. Of course they had a job to do and I was the flake that procrastinated but they were never in the slightest abusive or unreasonable. Before I called them I read the collection procedures part of their website and knew what I had to do and what to expect. It would have been much more intimidating to just go in there without that research. Thank God for the web. I did the same thing with the research and was not intimidated too much in dealing with them. But to be honest, although I had not filed several years of returns, I had always had tax deducted (W2) from my income. So maybe some of my cool demeanor was helped by the fact that I knew in the end that I probably did not owe much to them. And didn't...
  2. Understand the difference between release & withdrawl. A release just notes the lien has been released and the IRS no longer has a claim on your assets. A withdrawl, is like it never even happened. Hence, there would be no record of it and no need to try to explain the error. A far as credit scores go, free ones are the only ones I get. My transrisk score is right back exactly where it was before the tax lien...769. It had fallen to 681 for about 8 months. My other scores did not improve as much. Those score historys dont go back prior to the tax lien though. Credit Sesame only improved to 710 from 688 and my vantage score only improved from 854-861 to currently 883. The biggest question mark is my "auto insurance score" which went from 883 for 5 months without change to 870 about the same time my other scores improved. Cant figure that out because I had NO insurance claims whatsoever and my credit actually improved from a lot to modestly via the other scores. I still have not requested any credit reports to see what is on there as far as the tax lien. I expected my auto insurance & vantage scores to improve as much as my transrisk but the auto score actually went down and the vantage score only improved 3.4% from its low. The insurance score declined inexplicatly by 1.5%. Only the transrisk score had a healthy 13% increase. I really dont "need" a higher credit score. I dont need credit. I am on the lookout for a credit card with a large signing bonus, chase has one but I already have a chase so I would be rejected for the new card & bonus despite my score.
  3. It can take a few weeks for your score to rise but it almost certainly will....IF it was already in there. I think mine took 2-3 weeks after I got the IRS letter before my score went back up. They had to mail it to my county and whenever the county got around to updating their records and then the credit bureau picked it up. Most but not all seem to be less than 30 days, You will probably get them this week. I think when you look up the address for your particular region to mail your request to the IRS, there is also a telephone number you could call and ask. I am still waiting for a response from EX after they wanted the DL, SS# and utility bill blah blah, they have had the docs for a week now, hope that this is a good week for the two of us!!! Update: EX has removed the IRS lien from my CR. However my Plus FAKO score did not rise at all. As someone stated earlier, score rise or not, taking the damn thing OFF THE CR is got to be better for when a lender might have a peek at you... Sorry about that GA state lien. The state liens are really hard to remove because the states see the lien as a "hammer" to make us pay our monies on time. They feel that if they did what the IRS now does, that they would lose collection power over us. They feel that if people know it would not grossly affect them for 7 years or so, they won't pay their bills (taxes) in a timely manner. California had a bill in the CA Senate this spring which would have mimicked the IRS new policy; it died in committee after the FTB (the CA tax department) more or less said what I stated above...The IRS new policy is amazing because its the FEDS having an enlightened view and the states not.... Google "removal of tax lien GA" or "withdrawal of tax lien GA" if you have not already. You can get into some real mind numbing tax law .pdf's about this stuff but for me reading the pertinent sections are/were helping me "say the right things" when talking or writing to the state. It seems that one of the ways to get them taken off is to claim the lien was "filed in error"... If it was not, well. then we can only hit them with the extreme hardship and in the best interests of the state and the taxpayer, which is essentially the new IRS position. That the lien on your reports creates such hardship that its bad for the taxpayer AND THE COUNTRY if this continues to negatively impact you for 7 years.
  4. Penfed is VERY hard to get approved for. They rejected me years ago despite a CK score of about 741. A year or so later, I called in and requested approval and this time the rep got a credit person on the phone and they somehow approved me this time after I explained that I had over 100 times the requested amount of my card on deposit at penfed. Since I was rejected before, I only asked for a $1000 limit. Then 6-9 months after getting approved and paying my balance in full every month, I got them to raise it to $5k because I had some dental expenses and I wanted to use the 1.25% cashback card. They did away with the 1.25% but I still use my card for the 5% on gas. My CK score is now 765 and frankly, Im not willing to pay for my FICO score. Although I may apply for a big bonus card in the next few months.
  5. My creditkarma score recently reflected the fact that my tax lien has been withdrawn. My score went from 681 to 765...just 4 points below where it was when the lien thing started. Im glad to have put it behind me.
  6. Interstingly, I happen to get my paperwork in the mail from the IRS the day after I posted this. On 7/9. It said they mailed the 10916 to my local recording office. My FACO score has not improved yet. Was wondering if I should just wait or go ahead and contact the bureaus & dispute it ? Would like my score to impove ASAP.
  7. I am new here...my first post.... But I have had direct experience with a tax lien. In Nov, the IRS, without notification, hit me with a very large tax lien and wiped out 2 bank accounts. That was JUST what I needed to get my butt in gear and file my back taxes. I got with a CPA and we did that...it took a few months and we filed some kind of appeal in the meantime to keep them from coming after other assets. Now, Im all caught up and the tax lien has been released. About a month ago, I sent a request form to the IRS asking that they WITHDRAW it per the new regulation. So far, I dont think they have and I have not heard back from them on it. Note, I did not send a letter, just the form and I couldnt find a copy of the lien so I did not include it. I have been keeping up with my fake credit score via Credit Karma.since May 2008. My score before the tax lien was 769. It dropped all the way to 681 after the tax lien.And about a month ago, I presume when the release hit my report, it rebounded 11 points to 692. That was a disappointment as I was hoping it would rebound at least half. Anyway, Im hoping that in the next few months it all gets taken care of any my report gets clean of this mess. I am in good shape financially so I really have no need for great credit but I like keeping up with it nonetheless. My house is paid for and I have no need for credit. Already have several rewards cards. Im WAY too tight to ever pay for a real fico score. I get my fake ones from CK, Quizzle & now Credit Sesame. I did not ask the IRS to contact the credit reporting agencies. I guess I should send a new letter in over that. My plan was to give them another month or so and then if its not removed, despite it.

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