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What is the statute of limitations on back taxes owed the IRS?

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First, there are many SOLs, both for different taxes and then separate ones for audit, assesment and collection...as you see a progression that added together can be a long time.
Depending on certain things, the audit one is normally 3 or 4 years. However, a substantial underpayment, normally more than 25%, can extend that too. And how the days are counted can be a bit strange..but more importantly, that they can be "tolled" (stopped), by many things, most noteably from when the Dept sends a notice, received or not, until you respond for example. So ignoring them while the time goes by doesn't work...the time ain't counting.
Payroll tax can be even a bit different, because those are trust funds that you hold for the State...the audit periods are normally more like 2 years to notify of an audit to see the proper things were taxed and paid over. But if it is a matter of your not payng over what you collected, then it is a criminal matter and a whole other set of rules may be invoked.
Importantly for many is to understand the SOL only starts to run when a return is filed. If you don't file, you are perpetually open and will never time out
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