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I am an Indian national and was working in the USA for few years in the past. I returned back to India in 2013. I paid both federal and state taxes up till 2013.

Now, I see a 'State Tax Lien' record filed against my name by Ohio in February 2016. I never lived in Ohio but have used a friend's address there for my credit cards. This is because I didn't want to close my Credit Cards as I saw a possibility for going to USA again.

  1. Is there an option to dispute this record online since I have never lived in Ohio state?
  2. Could there be any chance that this was put by mistake? I still find it hard to believe that the state authorities took my credit card address as a proof of residence.
  3. If there is no option to dispute, what is the worst that can happen if I don't pay it and enter the US in 2020?
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Is there an option to dispute this record online since I have never lived in Ohio state?

Start with getting a US-licensed CPA/EA in India, or a CPA/EA working in Ohio, contacting them on your behalf and getting more details. Why did they put the lien? They probably think you earned money in the State/while resident of the State, and didn't pay taxes. Why would they think that?

Could there be any chance that this was put by mistake? I still find it hard to believe that the state authorities took my credit card address as a proof of residence.

Obviously, unless you didn't tell us something in your question, this is some kind of mistake. But mistake can be not theirs - someone may have made a mistake and used your SSN to steal your identity. Someone may have made a mistake and used your SSN to file a fraudulent tax return and got refunds they were not supposed to get

If there is no option to dispute, what is the worst that can happen if I don't pay it and enter the US in 2020?

If you don't do anything, someone else's mistake will become your mistake. Your credit will be ruined, the statute of limitations to dispute the assessment will have passed and the State will attempt to collect on you. The statute of limitations on collections depends on the State laws, but it is much longer than the statute of limitations on assessments, so while you may not be able to argue you don't owe the dept by 2020 - the State will probably be able to garnish your wages and freeze your bank accounts.

Deal with this, ASAP.

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