From collections letters to sleepless nights, tax debt comes with plenty of problems. If you owe the Internal Revenue Service a substantial amount of money, you might wonder if your unpaid tax debt can hurt your credit score.

The short answer is: No. The IRS does not report unpaid taxes to the three major U.S. credit bureaus, Experian, TransUnion, or Equifax, so tax debt won’t directly reduce your credit score.

But you might see other financial ramifications if you don’t pay your taxes and they could extend to your credit score or ability to open a new credit card or secure a loan. Let’s break down the rules and the ramifications of unpaid taxes, offers in compromise, and installment plans on your credit rating.

But first, a bit about the basics of credit reporting, your FICO credit score, and what it means to your financial well-being.