How many points does a tax lien decrease your credit score?

It varies and can be quite a lot.

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From personal experience, I would say by a LOT!

In my case, it took my FICO from about 785-805 range in the three reporting agencies down to 680-700. I think only one made it over 700. It was to say the least a staggering move.

The irony is that the lien was a mistake. You will not believe it but 6 months of back and forth with IRS resulted in a letter from them summing up things saying instead of them owed $130,000, they actually owed me $419 and hence sent me a check. The lien field is a 3 month lien that had to be "renewed" and hence they did nothing but let it lapse.

I subsequently took those documents to each of the three reporting agencies and informed them that IRS made a mistake and they should bump me back. That has proven to be a waste of time. The reporting agencies claims as long as there is a court record of the lien, that is all that matters. The argument presented to me was that it is not the lien alone as much as the fact that the issue escalated into a lien and court filing that matters.

I have attempted to have the country court records "corrected" but I was told that was a larger waste of time. Today, about 14 months after the resolution of this matter, my FICO averages about 700 with still only one actually over 700.