Background checks for federal tax liens

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Thus, to comply with the FCRA, a prospective employer must obtain the applicant's written consent before seeking information related to work or education history. Employee background checks frequently include criminal records searches to determine if the applicant has committed any crime that will prohibit him from performing certain work.

For example, a theft conviction disqualifies an applicant from a job involving handling money; a sex-related conviction disqualifies from a job requiring contact with children. In some states, a criminal history search is mandatory for certain employment, such as hiring a public school employee in Minnesota. However, in some states there are limits placed on criminal record searches, such as in California, which prohibits reporting convictions more than seven years old.

What Is Included in an Employee Background Check?

Bankruptcy filings are public records commonly searched as part of an employee background check. These records are found through using a commercial public records aggregator, as well as directly from the court, using the Public Access to Court Electronic Records PACER database that the federal courts maintain. The FCRA prohibits including bankruptcy filings more than 10 years old in an employee background check. All counties maintain records of tax liens and judgments, and local courts maintain records of civil lawsuits, such as divorces, collections and harassment cases.

These records are often searched as part of an employee background check and can give insight into how the applicant has conducted his personal affairs. Tax liens are not. The reason behind this credit reporting policy change can be traced back to a settlement between the three major credit bureaus — Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion — and 31 state attorneys general.

IRS Tax Liens Explained!

In the immediate wake of these updates, certain judgments and tax liens still remained on credit reports. But over time, policies were updated further.

Federal / State Tax Lien

By the end of April , all judgments and tax liens had been removed from personal credit reports. Plus, the exclusion of tax liens only applies to consumer credit reports from Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian at the moment. Mortgage lenders may use this report to see if you have any outstanding liens or judgments filed against you. Liens can also still show up on business credit reports.

What do background checks show?

Yet they can still loom overhead, causing stress and financial trouble just like any debt. The options below are presented with federal tax liens in mind.

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State and county tax liens may need to be dealt with differently. You should contact the appropriate governmental body if you have any questions about how to proceed. An offer in compromise might allow you to settle your outstanding tax obligations without paying the full amount. Look into an installment agreement.

These arrangements let you settle the full debt through a fixed payment plan. Your outstanding balance will accrue interest if you take this route. A fresh tax debt can probably be dealt with through a payment extension. If you just need a bit more time to pay your taxes, the IRS might give you a day extension to pay your taxes in full.

The agency will also send you an annual bill, per federal law. Many payment options available through the IRS require you to pay interest and sometimes penalty fees. Interest and fees can add up.

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