Impact of IRS Hardship on Your Business Credit Score

In this business guide, we will explore the influence of the IRS on a business’s credit rating.

The Impact of IRS Hardship on Your Business Credit Score

When it comes to managing a business, financial management is a crucial aspect that cannot be underestimated. Many businesses, at some point, face difficulties meeting their tax obligations, which might lead them to contemplate applying for an IRS hardship.

While this option can provide temporary relief, it is essential to be aware of its potential consequences on the credit score of your business.

The Impact of an IRS Hardship on Your Business Credit Score

This article delves into the ramifications of an IRS hardship on your business’s credit score and sheds light on the nuanced details that every entrepreneur should be familiar with.

1. Understanding the Basics of an IRS Hardship

Before comprehending its effects on your business credit score, it is important to grasp what an IRS hardship entails. Essentially, if a business cannot meet its tax obligations due to financial distress, the IRS may grant temporary relief from certain tax payments.

To determine eligibility, one must review the IRS hardship program to ensure they meet specific criteria. While this may seem like a lifeline at the moment, obtaining an IRS hardship can have unforeseen repercussions.

2. Immediate Impact on Your Business Credit

Once a business is granted an IRS hardship, this status is recorded. Credit reporting agencies, despite their primary focus on borrowing activities, may incorporate public records, including tax liens or IRS hardships.

Consequently, your business credit score may experience an immediate decline, reflecting the financial instability that led to the hardship request in the first place.

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3. Impact on Future Lenders’ Perception

When a business seeks a loan or a line of credit, lenders assess its creditworthiness. A history of IRS hardship can raise concerns, suggesting that the business has previously faced financial challenges.

Even if the hardship was temporary or a result of unforeseen circumstances, its presence on your record could make it more difficult to secure financing or lead to higher interest rates.

4. Long-Term Consequences

Unlike certain credit activities that can be removed from your record after a set period, IRS hardships can persist and continually affect your business credit score. The long-term effects depend on how the hardship is resolved.

If you promptly settle the outstanding tax liabilities, you may witness a quicker recovery in your credit score. Conversely, if the debt remains unpaid, it can result in a tax lien, further damaging your business’s creditworthiness.

5. Opportunities for Recovery

While an IRS hardship can have a negative impact on your business credit score, it does not signify the end of the road for your enterprise. Proactive measures can be taken to mitigate the damage and gradually rebuild your credit.

Consistently monitoring your business credit score, meeting all other financial obligations on time, and collaborating with financial advisors can assist you in navigating the path to recovery.

6. Exploring Alternative Financing Options

Given that traditional lenders may view your business as high-risk following an IRS hardship, it’s worth considering alternative financing options.

Crowdfunding, angel investors, or peer-to-peer lending platforms might be more accommodating and may not weigh the IRS hardship as heavily in their decision-making processes.

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7. The Significance of Communication

In times of financial distress, communication is crucial. If you anticipate difficulties in making tax payments, reach out to the IRS before the situation escalates.

They may offer installment agreements or other solutions that are less damaging to your credit than a full-fledged hardship.

Similarly, when seeking financing after an IRS hardship, being transparent with lenders about the circumstances surrounding the hardship can sometimes work in your favor.


An IRS hardship can provide temporary relief for businesses grappling with financial challenges, but it carries a set of consequences, particularly its impact on your business credit score.

By understanding the potential repercussions and taking proactive steps afterward, businesses can navigate the challenges of financial distress and emerge stronger.

While challenges are an inevitable part of the business journey, knowledge and preparedness can make all the difference in how they are addressed.

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